Ion irradiation of individual carbon nanotubes deposited on substrates may be used for making metallic nanowires and studying effects of disorder on the electronic transport in low-dimensional systems. In order to understand the basic physical mechanisms of radiation damage production in supported nanotubes, we employ molecular dynamics and simulate ion impacts on nanotubes lying on different substrates, such as platinum and graphite. We show that defect production depends on the type of the substrate and that the damage is higher for metallic heavy-atom substrates than for light-atom substrates, since in the former case sputtered metal atoms and backscattered recoils produce extra damage in the nanotube. We further study the behavior of defects upon high-temperature annealing and demonstrate that although ions may severely damage nanotubes in a local region, the nanotube carbon network can heal such a strong localized damage due to defect migration and dangling-bond saturation. We also show that after annealing the residual damage in nanotubes is independent of the substrate type. We predict the pinning of nanotubes to substrates through nanotube-substrate bonds that appear near irradiation-induced defects.
Physical Review B
- Pub Date:
- April 2002
- Fullerenes and fullerene-related materials;
- Ion radiation effects;
- Electronic structure of nanoscale materials: clusters nanoparticles nanotubes and nanocrystals