Thermally driven molecular linear motors - A molecular dynamics study

Harvey A Zambrano, Jens Honore Walther, Richard Lawrence Jaffe

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We conduct molecular dynamics simulations of a molecular linear motor consisting of coaxial carbon nanotubes with a long outer carbon nanotube confining and guiding the motion of an inner short, capsule-like nanotube. The simulations indicate that the motion of the capsule can be controlled by thermophoretic forces induced by thermal gradients. The simulations find large terminal velocities of 100-400 nm/ns for imposed thermal gradients in the range 1-3 K/nm. Moreover, the results indicate that the thermophoretic force is velocity dependent and its magnitude decreases for increasing velocity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number24
Pages (from-to)241104
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

Copyright (2009) American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics.


  • carbon nanotubes
  • thermophoresis
  • nanomotors

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