Carbon nanotubes are, as the name implies, nano-scale cylindrical structures consisting of monolayer carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice rolled into tubes. The resulting tubes can either be multi-walled or single walled and have a plethora of handy properties that make them functional in a wide range of applications. Carbon nanotubes, or CNTs, are known to be ultra-high strength, low weight, material that possess highly conductive electrical and thermal properties. These attributes make CNTs well suited for virtually any application requiring high strength, durability, electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and lightweight. As such, carbon nanotubes are being applied to a wide range of existing technology, including transistors, electrodes, nanomedicine, biotechnology, and filtration as well as being used to fabricate new tech, like carbon nanotube enhanced composites and nano inks. However, the main drawback of carbon nanotubes is that they can only be grown to relatively short lengths without them no longer growing in a straight line. This project primarily focused on accurately simulating carbon nanotubes using molecular dynamics with the ultimate goal of showing that an applied magnetic field can manipulate carbon nanotubes. The CNT is generated using a Lennard- Jones potential from AIREBO (Adaptive Intermolecular Reactive Empirical Bond Order), a well-trusted and often used set of potentials to simulate dynamic bonding processes. To verify the validity of the carbon nanotubes, CNTs of various lengths underwent deformation at 300K, 500K, 700K, and 900K to determine the tensile strength. Once this was done, the determined tensile strength value was compared to the existing literature. Finally, an effective magnetic field can be applied to see if there is any deformation and its relation to the strength and direction of the magnetic field. By first simulating the deformation of CNTs due to a magnetic field, we proved the basic concept that the direction of CNT growth can be manipulated by a magnetic field, thereby making carbon nanotubes longer and straighter and fundamentally more useful in uses such as nano-fibers, composites, and more.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Carbon nanotubes--Magnetic properties; Carbon nanotubes--Synthesis

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Materials Science and Engineering (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Chemistry and Materials Science (COS)


Pratik Dholabhai

Advisor/Committee Member

Kristen Repa

Advisor/Committee Member

Michael Pierce


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes