Subnanometer motion of cargoes driven by thermal gradients along carbon nanotubes
An important issue in nanoelectromechanical systems is developing small electrically driven motors. We report on an artificial nanofabricated motor in which one short carbon nanotube moves relative to another coaxial nanotube. A cargo is attached to an ablated outer wall of a multiwalled carbon nanotube that can rotate and/ or translate along the inner nanotube. The motion is actuated by imposing a thermal gradient along the nanotube, which allows for subnanometer displacements, as opposed to an electromigration or random walk effect.