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Novel phenomena involving adsorption on carbon nanotubes

Milton W. Cole

Since the discovery of carbon nanotubes, much interest has been devoted to a variety of quasi-one-dimensional (Q-1D) phenomena that may occur. In such systems, the nature of phase transitions and the role of large fluctuations are of particular interest. This talk will focus on two kinds of Q-1D systems. One involves gas adsorption on the outside of a single nanotube, recently measured for the first time by a group at the University of Washington [1]. Those results stimulated our investigations by Monte Carlo of the behavior of the classical gases, Ar and Kr [2], which present an apparent discrepancy relevant to the experiments. A related open question involves the effect of physical adsorption on the electronic transport properties of the tube, as measured by the UW group and studied by us with a simple model calculation [3]. The final topic to be discussed is the proposed existence of Q-1D electronic states, bound to a nanotube which has been “coated” with a thin film barrier of He or H2 [4].

1.Z. H. Wang, J. Wei, P. Morse, J.G. Dash, O. E. Vilches and D. H. Cobden, Phase transitions of adsorbed atoms on the surface of a carbon nanotube, Science 327, 552 (2010)
2. Hye-Young Kim, Milton W. Cole, Mamadou T. Mbaye and Silvina M. Gatica, Phase behavior of Ar and Kr films on carbon nanotubes, to appear in J. Phys. Chem. A (J. P. Toennies Festschrift)
3. Ashley M. DaSilva and Milton W. Cole, Effects of physically adsorbed films on conductivity of two-dimensional metal surfaces and graphene, J. Low Temp. Phys., in press
4. S. Rotkin, A. del Maestro and M. W. Cole, unpublished