Rigidity of Nanoactuators

Within the nanoactuators, cantilevers are of particular importance. They can be prepared by planar and thin film technology. These techniques are suitable for the preparation of various combinations of layers. The rigidity of the cantilevers of thin film materials (a thickness of between around 100 nm and 1 im) is essentially determined by macroscopic material parameters, which means the E-module, of the bulk material. Decreasing thicknesses will lead to differences, and as a result of the increased influence ofthe interface or because oforientation effects, an anisotropy in the mechanical behavior is expected.

Nanorods and nanotubes lead from the thin film and nanocantilever to the super-molecular architectures. Inorganic nanorods and nanotubes are solid objects, consisting of a number of atoms of a few elements. Because of the small dimensions, the shape of these small solids and therefore also the location and arrangement of the individual atoms with respect to the surface is essential, thus quasi-single molecule properties become important. This effect is also apparent in the mechanical behavior. Hence tubes of SiC are more stable than the bulk material, and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) are more stable than SiC rods [9].

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