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Research Papers

A Novel Thermal Driving Force for Nanodevices

[+] Author and Article Information
Zeng-Yuan Guo, Quan-Wen Hou

 Key Laboratory for Thermal Science and Power Engineering of Ministry of Education,Department of Engineering Mechanics,Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, Chinacaoby@tsinghua.edu.cn

Bing-Yang Cao1

 Key Laboratory for Thermal Science and Power Engineering of Ministry of Education,Department of Engineering Mechanics,Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, Chinacaoby@tsinghua.edu.cn

1

Corresponding author.

J. Heat Transfer 134(5), 051010 (Apr 13, 2012) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4005640 History: Received April 19, 2010; Revised May 10, 2010; Published April 11, 2012; Online April 13, 2012

Design and construction of nanomotors are one of the most attractive fields in nanotechnology. Following the introduction of a novel concept of the thermomass, the relative mass of a phonon gas based on the Einstein’s energy–mass relation, the continuum and momentum conservation equations for the phonon gas are established to characterize the hydrodynamics of the phonon current in a solid. Like the gas flows in the porous mediums, the phonon current in a dielectric solid imposes a driving force on the solid framework atoms, which can be calculated quantitatively and can be applied to actuate nanomotors. We also predict the dynamic behavior of a nanomotor made up of multiwalled carbon nanotubes in terms of molecular dynamics simulations. A shorter single-walled carbon nanotube with a larger diameter, as a mobile part, surrounds a longer single-walled carbon nanotube with a smaller diameter working as a shaft. When a phonon current passes through the inner shaft, the outer nanotube will translate along and/or rotate around the shaft depending on the chiralities of the carbon nanotubes. The motion traces are found to depend on the chirality pair regularly. This type of nanomotor may be promising, because they are directly driven by thermal energy transport.

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Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 1

Schematic of the nanomotor constructed by a DWNT

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 2

Interwall potential patterns for DWNTs with different chirality pairs: (a) (5, 5)/(10, 10), (b) (13, 0)/(22, 0), and (c) (8, 2)/(17, 2)

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 3

The center of mass and the rotation angle of the outer tube varying with time for: (a) (5, 5)/(10, 10), (b) (13, 0)/(22, 0), and (c) (8, 2)/(17, 2). The inset in (c) plots the trace of the motion in a polar coordinate system, whose polar axis and angle units are nanometer and degree, respectively.

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