Flow-induced voltage and current generation in carbon nanotubes

Phys. Rev. B 70, 205423 – Published 22 November 2004
S. Ghosh, A. K. Sood, S. Ramaswamy, and N. Kumar


New experimental results, and a plausible theoretical understanding thereof, are presented for the flow-induced currents and voltages observed in single-walled carbon nanotube samples. In our experiments, the electrical response was found to be sublinear—nearly logarithmic—in the flow speed over a wide range, and its direction could be controlled by an electrochemical biasing of the nanotubes. These experimental findings are inconsistent with the conventional idea of a streaming potential as the efficient cause. Here we present Langevin-equation based treatment of the nanotube charge carriers, assumed to be moving in the fluctuating field of ions in the flowing liquid. The resulting “Doppler-shifted” force-force correlation, as seen by the charge carriers drifting in the nanotube, is shown to give a sublinear response, broadly in agreement with experiments.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.70.205423

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  • Received 10 August 2004
  • Published 22 November 2004

© 2004 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

S. Ghosh1, A. K. Sood1, S. Ramaswamy1, and N. Kumar2

  • 1Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560 012, India
  • 2Raman Research Institute, C.V. Raman Avenue, Bangalore 560 080, India

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