Electrowetting in Carbon Nanotubes

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Science  02 Dec 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5753, pp. 1480-1483
DOI: 10.1126/science.1120385

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We demonstrate reversible wetting and filling of open single-wall carbon nanotubes with mercury by means of electrocapillary pressure originating from the application of a potential across an individual nanotube in contact with a mercury drop. Wetting improves the conductance in both metallic and semiconducting nanotube probes by decreasing contact resistance and forming a mercury nanowire inside the nanotube. Molecular dynamics simulations corroborate the electrocapillarity-driven filling process and provide estimates for the imbibition speed and electrocapillary pressure.

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