Animated sequence of snapshots from a mesoscopic simulation of the formation of a continuous networks of bundles of carbon nanotubes

Animated GIF Image

the system has dimensions of 500 nm × 500 nm × 20 nm and consists of 1500 (10,10) 200 nm long CNTs, density of the film is 0.2 g/cm3
color of CNTs corresponds to the local inter-tube interaction energy, from high energy of individual nanotubes (red) to low energy of nanotubes inside bundles (blue).

This animation shows a spontaneous self-assembly of individual carbon nanotubes into continuous networks of bundles with partial hexagonal ordering of the nanotubes in the bundles. The initial sample is composed of layers of straight randomly dispersed individual CNTs. The bending buckling of CNTs is an important factor responsible for the stability of the network structures formed by defect-free CNTs. The structures produced in the simulations are similar to the structures of carbon nanotube films and buckypaper observed in experiments.