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Smallest Archimedean Screw: Facet Dynamics and Friction in Multiwalled Nanotubes

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posted on 10.08.2017, 00:00 by Roberto Guerra, Itai Leven, Andrea Vanossi, Oded Hod, Erio Tosatti
We identify a new material phenomenon, where minute mechanical manipulations induce pronounced global structural reconfigurations in faceted multiwalled nanotubes. This behavior has strong implications on the tribological properties of these systems and may be the key to understand the enhanced interwall friction recently measured for boron-nitride nanotubes with respect to their carbon counterparts. Notably, the fast rotation of helical facets in these systems upon coaxial sliding may serve as a nanoscale Archimedean screw for directional transport of physisorbed molecules.