Beam to String Transition of Vibrating Carbon Nanotubes Under Axial Tension

Authors

  • Xianlong Wei,

    1. Key Laboratory for the Physics and Chemistry of Nanodevices and Department of Electronics Peking University, Beijing 100871 (P. R. China)
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  • Qing Chen,

    Corresponding author
    1. Key Laboratory for the Physics and Chemistry of Nanodevices and Department of Electronics Peking University, Beijing 100871 (P. R. China)
    • Key Laboratory for the Physics and Chemistry of Nanodevices and Department of Electronics Peking University, Beijing 100871 (P. R. China).
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  • Shengyong Xu,

    1. Key Laboratory for the Physics and Chemistry of Nanodevices and Department of Electronics Peking University, Beijing 100871 (P. R. China)
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  • Lianmao Peng,

    1. Key Laboratory for the Physics and Chemistry of Nanodevices and Department of Electronics Peking University, Beijing 100871 (P. R. China)
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  • Jianmin Zuo

    1. Department of Material Science and Engineering University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 1304 West Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801 (USA)
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Abstract

State-of-the-art nanoelectromechanical systems have been demonstrated in recent years using carbon nanotube (CNT) based devices, where the vibration of CNTs is tuned by tension induced through external electrical fields. However, the vibration properties of CNTs under axial tension have not been quantitatively determined in experiments. Here, a novel in situ method for precise and simultaneous measurement of the resonance frequency, the axial tension applied to individual CNTs and the tube geometry is demonstrated. A gradual beam-to-string transition from multi-walled CNTs to single-walled CNTs is observed with the crossover from bending rigidity dominant regime to extensional rigidity dominant regime occur much larger than that expected by previous theoretical work. Both the tube resonance frequency under tension and transition of vibration behavior from beam to string are surprisingly well fitted by the continuum beam theory. In the limit of a string, the vibration of a CNT is independent of its own stiffness, and a force sensitivity as large as 0.25 MHz (pN)−1 is demonstrated using a 2.2 nm diameter single-walled CNT. These results will allow for the designs of CNT resonators with tailored properties.

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