Thermally driven molecular linear motors: A molecular dynamics study

Zambrano H.A., Walther J.H., Jaffe R.L., Journal of Chemical Physics, 131, 241104, 2009


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, capsulelike 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 of 1–3 K/nm. Moreover, the results indicate that the thermophoretic force is velocity dependent and its magnitude decreases for increasing velocity.