Oscillating chiral currents in nanotubes: A route to nanoscale magnetic test tubes

C. J. Lambert, S. W.D. Bailey, J. Cserti

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Abstract

With a view to optimizing the design of carbon-nanotube (CNT) windmills and to maximizing the internal magnetic field generated by chiral currents, we present analytical results for the group-velocity components of an electron flux through chiral carbon nanotubes. Chiral currents are shown to exhibit a rich behavior and can even change sign and oscillate as the energy of the electrons is increased. We find that the transverse velocity and associated angular momentum of electrons are a maximum for nonmetallic CNTs with a chiral angle of 18°. Such CNTs are therefore the optimal choice for CNT windmills and also generate the largest internal magnetic field for a given longitudinal current. For a longitudinal current of order 10-4 A, this field can be of order 10-1 T, which is sufficient to produce interesting spintronic effects and a significant contribution to the self-inductance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number233405
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Volume78
Issue number23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2008

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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