Numerical model for the electromechanical characterization of carbon nanotubes

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

Abstract

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) can be metallic or semiconductors depending simply on geometric characteristics [e.g., 1]. This peculiar electronic behavior, combined with high mechanical strength, make them potential building blocks of a new nano-electronic technology. Most discussions of the electronic structure of CNTs assume perfect cylindrical symmetry, but this is somewhat of an oversimplification. High resolution images of CNTs often disclose structural deformations such as bent, twisted, or collapsed tubes. These deformations may develop during growth, deposition, and processing, or upon interaction with other CNTs, and with surfaces and surface features such as electrodes. Deformations break the tube symmetry, and a change in their electronic properties should result.A computationally effective mixed finite element-tight-binding approach [2-7] able to simulate the electromechanical behavior of single and multiwall nanotubes used in nano-electronic devices is presented. The finite element (FE) computes the evolution of atomic coordinates with deformation and provides these coordinates to a tight-binding (TB) code, enabling computation and updating of the electrical conductivity. The TB code is engineered to realize dramatic computational savings in calculating deformation-induced changes in electrical transport properties of the nanotubes. The FE-TB computational approach is successfully validated in a simulation of laboratory experiments which had measured the changes in electrical conductivity of a multiwall carbon nanotube during mechanical deformation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages13-13
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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