, Volume 2, Issue 12, pp 938-944,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 05 Mar 2010

Nanopumping molecules via a carbon nanotube

Abstract

We demonstrate the feasibility of using a carbon nanotube to nanopump molecules. Molecular dynamics simulations show that the transport and ejection of a C20 molecule via a single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) can be achieved by a sustained mechanical actuation driven by two oscillating tips. The optimal condition for nanopumping is found when the tip oscillation frequency and magnitude correlate to form quasi steady-state mechanical wave propagation in the SWNT, so that the energy transfer process is optimal leading to maximal molecular translational motion and minimal rotational motion. Our finding provides a potentially useful mechanism for using an SWNT as a vehicle to deliver large drug molecules.