Prediction of thermal expansion properties of carbon nanotubes using molecular dynamics simulations

Alamusi, Ning Hu, Bi Jia, Masahiro Arai, Cheng Yan, Jinhua Li, Yaolu Liu, Satoshi Atobe, Hisao Fukunaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


The axial coefficients of thermal expansion (CTE) of various carbon nanotubes (CNTs), i.e., single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), and some multi-wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs), were predicted using molecular dynamics (MDs) simulations. The effects of two parameters, i.e., temperature and the CNT diameter, on CTE were investigated extensively. For all SWCNTs and MWCNTs, the obtained results clearly revealed that within a wide low temperature range, their axial CTEs are negative. As the diameter of CNTs decreases, this temperature range for negative axial CTEs becomes narrow, and positive axial CTEs appear in high temperature range. It was found that the axial CTEs vary nonlinearly with the temperature, however, they decrease linearly as the CNT diameter increases. Moreover, within a wide temperature range, a set of empirical formulations was proposed for evaluating the axial CTEs of armchair and zigzag SWCNTs using the above two parameters. Finally, it was found that the absolute value of the negative axial CTE of any MWCNT is much smaller than those of its constituent SWCNTs, and the average value of the CTEs of its constituent SWCNTs. The present fundamental study is very important for understanding the thermal behaviors of CNTs in such as nanocomposite temperature sensors, or nanoelectronics devices using CNTs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-254
Number of pages6
JournalComputational Materials Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Mar


  • Carbon nanotube
  • Molecular dynamics
  • Thermal property

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Computational Mathematics


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