The fine geometry of carbon nanotubes is investigated from the viewpoint of molecular mechanics. Actual nanotube configurations are characterized as locally minimizers of a given configurational energy, including both two- and three-body contributions. By focusing on so-called zigzag and armchair topologies, we prove that the configurational energy is strictly minimized within specific, one-parameter families of periodic configurations. Such optimal configurations are checked to be stable with respect to a large class of small nonperiodic perturbations and do not coincide with classical rolled-up nor polyhedral geometries.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Chemistry
- Modelling and Simulation
- Ecological Modelling
- General Physics and Astronomy
- Computer Science Applications