Subnanometer Motion of Cargoes Driven by Thermal Gradients Along Carbon Nanotubes

Science  09 May 2008:
Vol. 320, Issue 5877, pp. 775-778
DOI: 10.1126/science.1155559

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An important issue in nanoelectromechanical systems is developing small electrically driven motors. We report on an artificial nanofabricated motor in which one short carbon nanotube moves relative to another coaxial nanotube. A cargo is attached to an ablated outer wall of a multiwalled carbon nanotube that can rotate and/or translate along the inner nanotube. The motion is actuated by imposing a thermal gradient along the nanotube, which allows for subnanometer displacements, as opposed to an electromigration or random walk effect.

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