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Intrinsic energy conversion mechanism via telescopic extension and retraction of concentric carbon nanotubes

Abstract

The conversion of other forms of energy into mechanical work through the geometrical extension and retraction of nanomaterials has a wide variety of potential applications, including for mimicking biomotors. Here, using molecular dynamic simulations, we demonstrate that there exists an intrinsic energy conversion mechanism between thermal energy and mechanical work in the telescopic motions of double-walled carbon nanotubes (DWCNTs). A DWCNT can inherently convert heat into mechanical work in its telescopic extension process, while convert mechanical energy into heat in its telescopic retraction process. {\color{blue}These two processes are nearly thermodynamically reversible. The underlying mechanism for this energy conversion is that the configurational entropy changes with the telescopic overlapping length of concentric individual tubes.} We find also that the entropy effect enlarges with the decreasing intertube space of DWCNTs. As a result, the spontaneously telescopic motion of a condensed DWCNT can be switched to extrusion by rising the system temperature above a critical value. These findings are important for fundamentally understanding the mechanical behavior of concentric nanotubes, and may have general implications in the application of DWCNTs as linear motors in nanodevices.

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Publication details

The article was received on 26 Oct 2017, accepted on 29 Jan 2018 and first published on 01 Feb 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR07971K
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018, Accepted Manuscript
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    Intrinsic energy conversion mechanism via telescopic extension and retraction of concentric carbon nanotubes

    Z. guo, H. Zhang, J. Leng, J. Li, Y. Zhang and T. Chang, Nanoscale, 2018, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7NR07971K

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