Analysis of Doubly Clamped Nanotube Devices in the Finite Deformation Regime

[+] Author and Article Information
N. Pugno1

 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208-3111

C. H. Ke

 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208-3111

H. D. Espinosa2

 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208-3111espinosa@northwestern.edu


On leave from the Department of Structural Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy.


To whom correspondence should be addressed.

J. Appl. Mech 72(3), 445-449 (Sep 23, 2004) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1875452 History: Received August 23, 2004; Revised September 23, 2004

In this paper, a nonlinear theory applicable to the design of nanotube based devices is presented. The role of finite kinematics for a doubly clamped nanotube device is investigated. In particular, we analyze the continuous deformation and instability (pull in) of a clamped-clamped nanotube suspended over an electrode from which a potential differential is imposed. The transformation of an applied voltage into a nanomechanical deformation indeed represents a key step toward the design of innovative nanodevices. Likewise, accurate prediction of pull-in/pull-out voltages is highly needed. We show that an energy-based method can be conveniently used to predict the structural behavior and instability corresponding to the ON/OFF states of the device at the so-called pull-in voltage. The analysis reveals that finite kinematics effects can result in a significant increase of the pull-in voltage. This increase results from a ropelike behavior of the nanotube as a consequence of the stretching imposed by the actuation.

Copyright © 2005 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Grahic Jump Location
Figure 1

Schematics of doubly clamped nanotube based nanoswitches and nanotweezers

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 2

Comparison between analytical predictions and numerical results. Plot of applied voltage versus gap for both small deformation and finite kinematics. The gap is measured between the axis of the nanotube and the electrode in the middle of the span.



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