A computational mechanics team, including researchers from the Northwest A&F University in China and the Australian National University, investigate the temperature-driven rotational behavior of a DWNT with fixed outer tube.

Uniform temperature

The researchers find that the inner tube in the bitube system can be driven to rotate by uniform temperature. The peak value of rotational speed is sensitive to three factors: environmental temperature, number of fixed atoms on the outer tube, and the radii difference between inner and outer tubes. They reveal that the geometric asymmetric of the fixed outer tube leads to the transmission of thermal vibration into rotational kinetic energy of the inner tube. This discovery gives a theoretical support for related research and the design of devices.

Next steps

According to this phenomenon, the researchers may carry out a further study on the design of a rotational motor from a DWNT. At the same time, the way to detect the rotational speed of a real DWNT could be considered.

More information can be found in the journal Nanotechnology 25 505701.

Further reading

Manipulating boron-nitride nanotubes unconventionally (Feb 2014)
Controlling carbon nanotube photoluminescence (May 2014)
Understanding the mechanical response of super-stiff supramolecular nanotubes (May 2013)