Static and dynamic analysis of carbon nanotube-based switches

Marc Dequesnes, Zhi Tang, N. R. Aluru

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we report on molecular dynamics (MD), continuum (based on linear and nonlinear beam theories) and combined molecular dynamics/continuum simulation of carbon nanotube based nanoelectromechanical switches. As a prototype device, we study the pull-in voltage characteristics of a nanoelectromechanical switch made of a suspended single wall nanotube over a ground plane. The various simulations (MD, continuum and combined MD/continuum) have been performed accounting for the electrostatic and van der Waals forces between the nanotube and the ground plane. The results from the nonlinear continuum theory compared well with the results from MD, except, for cases, where nanotube buckling was observed. When buckling occurs, the electromechanical behavior of the switch is simulated by employing a combined MD/continuum approach. The combined MD/continuum approach is computationally more efficient compared to the MD simulation of the entire device. Static and dynamic pull-in, pull-in time and fundamental frequency analysis is presented for fixed-fixed and cantilever carbon nanotube switches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-237
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Engineering Materials and Technology, Transactions of the ASME
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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