Calculating van der Waals-London dispersion spectra and Hamaker coefficients of carbon nanotubes in water from ab initio optical properties

TitleCalculating van der Waals-London dispersion spectra and Hamaker coefficients of carbon nanotubes in water from ab initio optical properties
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsRajter, RF, French, RH, Ching, WY, Carter, WCraig, Chiang, YM
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Volume101
Issue5
Date Published2007/03/01/
Abstract

The van der Waals-London dispersion (vdW-Ld) spectra are calculated for the [9,3,m] metallic and [6,5,s] semiconducting single wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), graphite, and graphene (a single carbon sheet of the graphite structure) using uniaxial optical properties determined from ab initio band structure calculations. The [9,3,m], exhibiting metallic optical properties in the axial direction versus semiconducting optical properties in the radial direction, highlights the strong anisotropic nature of metallic SWCNTs. Availability of both efficient ab initio local density band structure codes and sufficient computational power has allowed us to calculate the imaginary parts of the frequency dependent dielectric spectra, which are then easily converted to the required vdW-Ld spectra for Hamaker coefficient calculations. The resulting Hamaker coefficients, calculated from the Lifshitz quantum electrodynamic theory, show that neither graphite nor graphene are accurate model materials for estimating the Hamaker coefficients of SWCNTs. Additionally, Hamaker coefficients were calculated between pure radial-radial, radial-axial, and axial-axial components of both SWCNTs. Analysis of these coefficients reveals that the vdW-Ld interactions will depend on both chirality and the particular orientation between neighboring SWCNTs. The minimization of energy, with respect to orientation, predicts that vdW-Ld alignment forces will arise as a result of the anisotropic optical properties of SWCNTs. (c) 2007 American Institute of Physics.