Description: This paper treats approximate solutions for a self-folding problem of carbon nanotubes. It has been observed in the molecular dynamics calculations  that a carbon nanotube with a large aspect ratio can self-fold due to van der Waals force between the parts of the same carbon nanotube. The main issue in the self-folding problem is to determine the minimum threshold length of the carbon nanotube at which it becomes possible for the carbon nanotube to self-fold due to the van der Waals force. An approximate mathematical model based on the force method is constructed for the self-folding problem of carbon nanotubes, and it is solved exactly as an elastica problem using elliptic functions. Additionally, three other mathematical models are constructed based on the energy method. As a particular example, the lower and upper estimates for the critical threshold (minimum) length are determined based on both methods for the (5,5) armchair carbon nanotube.
Date: August 22, 2006
Creator: Mikata, Y.
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