4 years ago

Double-edged effect of electric field on the mechanical property of water-filled carbon nanotubes with an application to nanoscale trigger.

Zhen Chen, Yonggang Zheng, Hongfei Ye, Hong Wu Zhang, Junfei Zhao, Lili Zhou
Polar water molecules would exhibit extraordinary phenomena under nanoscale confinement. By means of electric field, the water-filled carbon nanotube (CNT) that has been successfully fabricated in laboratory is expected to make distinct responses to the external electricity. Here, we examine the effect of electric field direction on the mechanical property of water-filled CNTs. It is found that the longitudinal electric field enhances but the transversal electric field reduces the elastic modulus and critical buckling stress of water-filled CNTs. The double-edged effect of electric field is attributed to the competition between the axial and circumferential pressures induced by polar water molecules. Furthermore, it is notable that the transversal electric field could result in an internal pressure with elliptical distribution, which is an effective and convenient approach to apply the nonuniform pressure on nanochannels. Based on a pre-strained water-filled CNTs, we design a nanoscale trigger with the evident and rapid height change started through switching the direction of electric field. The reported finding lays a foundation for the electricity-controlled property of nanochannels filled with polar molecules and provides an insight into the design of nanoscale functional devices.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6528/aa98ee

DOI: 10.1088/1361-6528/aa98ee

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