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Issue 37, 2013
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Collapsing nanoparticle-laden nanotubes

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We show how self-assembly of sticky nanoparticles can drive radial collapse of thin-walled nanotubes. Using numerical simulations, we study the transition as a function of the geometric and elastic parameters of the nanotube and the binding strength of the nanoparticles. We find that it is possible to derive a simple scaling law relating all these parameters, and estimate bounds for the onset conditions leading to the collapse of the nanotube. We also study the reverse process – the nanoparticle release from the folded state – and find that the stability of the collapsed state can be greatly improved by increasing the bending rigidity of the nanotubes. Our results suggest ways to strengthen the mechanical properties of nanotubes, but also indicate that the control of nanoparticle self-assembly on these nanotubes can lead to nanoparticle-laden responsive materials.

Graphical abstract: Collapsing nanoparticle-laden nanotubes

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Article information

28 May 2013
07 Aug 2013
First published
08 Aug 2013

Soft Matter, 2013,9, 8881-8886
Article type

Collapsing nanoparticle-laden nanotubes

J. A. Napoli, A. Šarić and A. Cacciuto, Soft Matter, 2013, 9, 8881
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM51495A

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