Programmable oscillation of C60 inside carbon nanotubes subjected to strain gradient

M Vaezi, JOURNAL OF APPLIED PHYSICS, 134, 234301 (2023).

DOI: 10.1063/5.0180180

Programmable locomotion of molecules inside the carbon nanotube (CNT) has a significant role in controlling the reactions and delivery systems based on nanotubes. Using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations as well as the theoretical approach, we evaluate the oscillation of C60 inside the CNTs that are subjected to strain gradients from both sides. The molecular dynamics simulations are implemented by LAMMPS open-source software. Using this program, the van der Waals (vdW) interactions are established between C60 and nanotube, and the simulations are performed in canonical ensemble. The strain gradient applied on CNT provides the restoring force of the oscillation of C60. The potential energy of fullerene finds the minimum value at the unstrained region of CNT, which makes it the equilibrium point of oscillation. The amplitude of the oscillations is shown to be related to the thermal energy of C60. The frequency of the oscillations depends on the magnitude of the strain gradient applied on the nanotubes. At higher strain gradients of CNTs, we observe the increase in the frequency due to the increase in the restoring force acting on the fullerene molecule. We exploit the strained carbon nanotubes to control the position of C60 inside the nanotube. It has been shown that by changing the strain gradient of CNT, it is possible to steer the locomotion of C60 to different points inside the nanotube.

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