Ring formation mechanism of single-walled carbon nanotubes: Energy conservation between curvature elasticity and inter-tube adhesion

C.R. Chang, L.H. Lu, J.H. Liu, Wei Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Rings of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs) exist widely during water evaporation from their dispersions at low concentration on such substrates as silica wafer. We examine the phenomenon in terms of energy conservation between the increased significant curvature energy and the inherent inter-tube van der Waals (vdW) attraction potentials. And thereby, the observed multi ring structures for coarse and long SWNT bundles have also gained detailed interpretation. We conclude that carbon nanotubes (CNTs) coil into rings by their own elastic mechanism. The formed rings with different width and diameters originate from appropriate sizes of SWNTs or the bundles. Specially, the associated elasticity may have prospective potentials to reveal other fascinating self-assembling phenomenon on CNTs, for instance, the known liquid crystallinity of them. Besides, we have also analyzed the external factors to the ring formation, both statistically and dynamically. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-128
Number of pages6
JournalChemical Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Elastic
  • Rings
  • Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs)
  • van der Waals (vdW) attractions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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