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Modeling the Electric Field-Guided Motion of Interacting Carbon Nanotubes Using a Dielectrophoretic Framework

[+] Author Affiliations
A. I. Oliva-Avilés

Universidad Anáhuac Mayab, Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico

F. Avilés, V. V. Zozulya

Centro de Investigación Científica de Yucatán, Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico

Paper No. SMASIS2015-8911, pp. V001T01A005; 9 pages
  • ASME 2015 Conference on Smart Materials, Adaptive Structures and Intelligent Systems
  • Volume 1: Development and Characterization of Multifunctional Materials; Mechanics and Behavior of Active Materials; Modeling, Simulation and Control of Adaptive Systems
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA, September 21–23, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Aerospace Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5729-8
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


A theoretical investigation of the dynamic response of a pair of interacting carbon nanotubes (CNTs) dispersed in a liquid medium under the presence of an alternating current (AC) electric field is presented. The proposed modeling strategy is based on the dielectrophoretic (DEP) theory and classical electrodynamics, and considers the effect of an applied AC electric field on the rotational and translation motion of interacting CNTs represented as electrical dipoles. The mutual interaction between a pair of adjacent CNTs stems from the presence of DEP-induced charges on the CNTs and, as such, contributes to the rotational and translational dynamics of the system. Based on experimental evidence, the parameters which are expected to cause a major contribution to the CNTs motion are investigated for different initial configurations. Based on the obtained results, it is here predicted that high electric field frequencies, long CNTs, high values of electrical permittivity and conductivity of CNTs immersed in solvents of high polarity promote faster rotational and translational motion and therefore faster equilibrium conditions (CNT tip-to-tip contact and horizontal alignment). The results incorporate important knowledge towards a better understanding of the complex mechanisms involved in the efforts of tailoring CNT networks by electric fields.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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