41 research outputs found

    Nanotube-based scanning rotational microscope

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    A scheme of the scanning rotational microscope is designed. This scheme is based on using carbon nanotubes simultaneously as a probe tip and as a bolt/nut pair which converts translational displacements of two piezo actuators into pure rotation of the probe tip. First-principles calculations of the interaction energy between movable and rotational parts of the microscope confirms the capability for its operation. The scanning rotational microscope with a chemically functionalized nanotube-based tip can be used to study how the interaction between individual molecules or a molecule and a surface depends on their relative orientation.Comment: 4 pages, 3 figure

    Transformation of amorphous carbon clusters to fullerenes

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    Transformation of amorphous carbon clusters into fullerenes under high temperature is studied using molecular dynamics simulations at microsecond times. Based on the analysis of both structure and energy of the system, it is found that fullerene formation occurs in two stages. Firstly, fast transformation of the initial amorphous structure into a hollow sp2^2 shell with a few chains attached occurs with a considerable decrease of the potential energy and the number of atoms belonging to chains and to the amorphous domain. Then, insertion of remaining carbon chains into the sp2^2 network takes place at the same time with the fullerene shell formation. Two types of defects remaining after the formation of the fullerene shell are revealed: 7-membered rings and single one-coordinated atoms. One of the fullerene structures obtained contains no defects at all, which demonstrates that defect-free carbon cages can be occasionally formed from amorphous precursors directly without defect healing. No structural changes are observed after the fullerene formation, suggesting that defect healing is a slow process in comparison with the fullerene shell formation. The schemes of the revealed reactions of chain atoms insertion into the fullerene shell just before its completion are presented. The results of the performed simulations are summarized within the paradigm of fullerene formation due to selforganization of the carbon system.Comment: 35 pages, 9 figure

    Comparison of performance of van der Waals-corrected exchange-correlation functionals for interlayer interaction in graphene and hexagonal boron nitride

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    Exchange-correlation functionals with corrections for van der Waals interactions (PBE-D2, PBE-D3, PBE-D3(BJ), PBE-TS, optPBE-vdW and vdW-DF2) are tested for graphene and hexagonal boron nitride, both in the form of bulk and bilayer. The characteristics of the potential energy surface, such as the barrier to relative sliding of the layers and magnitude of corrugation, and physically measurable properties associated with relative in-plane and out-of-plane motion of the layers including the shear modulus and modulus for axial compression, shear mode frequency and frequency of out-of-plane vibrations are considered. The PBE-D3(BJ) functional gives the best results for the stackings of hexagonal boron nitride and graphite that are known to be ground-state from the experimental studies. However, it fails to describe the order of metastable states of boron nitride in energy. The PBE-D3 and vdW-DF2 functionals, which reproduce this order correctly, are identified as the optimal choice for general studies. The vdW-DF2 functional is preferred for evaluation of the modulus for axial compression and frequency of out-of-plane vibrations, while the PBE-D3 functional is somewhat more accurate in calculations of the shear modulus and shear mode frequency. The best description of the latter properties, however, is achieved also using the vdW-DF2 functional combined with consideration of the experimental interlayer distance. In the specific case of graphene, the PBE-D2 functional works very well and can be further improved by adjustment of the parameters.Comment: 22 pages, 4 figue

    Reconstruction of Zigzag Graphene Edges: Energetics, Kinetics and Residual Defects

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    Ab initio calculations are performed to study consecutive reconstruction of a zigzag graphene edge. According to the obtained energy profile along the reaction pathway, the first reconstruction step, formation of the first pentagon-heptagon pair, is the slowest one, while the growth of an already nucleated reconstructed edge domain should occur steadily at a much higher rate. Domains merge into one only in 1/4 of cases when they get in contact, while in the rest of the cases, residual defects are left. Structure, energy and magnetic properties of these defects are studied. It is found that spontaneous formation of pairs of residual defects (i.e. spontaneous domain nucleation) in the fully reconstructed edge is unlikely at temperatures below 1000 K. Using a kinetic model, we show that the average domain length is of several μ\mathrm{\mu}m at room temperature and it decreases exponentially upon increasing the temperature at which the reconstruction takes place.Comment: 5 pages, 4 figure

    Structure and energetics of carbon, hexagonal boron nitride and carbon/hexagonal boron nitride single-layer and bilayer nanoscrolls

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    Single-layer and bilayer carbon and hexagonal boron nitride nanoscrolls as well as nanoscrolls made of bilayer graphene/hexagonal boron nitride heterostructure are considered. Structures of stable states of the corresponding nanoscrolls prepared by rolling single-layer and bilayer rectangular nanoribbons are obtained based on the analytical model and numerical calculations. The lengths of nanoribbons for which stable and energetically favorable nanoscrolls are possible are determined. Barriers to rolling of single-layer and bilayer nanoribbons into nanoscrolls and barriers to nanoscroll unrolling are calculated. Based on the calculated barriers nanoscroll lifetimes in the stable state are estimated. Elastic constants for bending of graphene and hexagonal boron nitride layers used in the model are found by density functional theory calculations.Comment: 9 pages, 6 figure