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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2013, Article ID 386068, 4 pages
Research Article

Mass Transport Induced by Heat Current in Carbon Nanotubes

1Department of Physics and Siyuan Laboratory, College of Science and Engineering, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China
2Laboratory of Quantum Engineering and Quantum Materials, ICMP and SPTE, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510006, China

Received 26 September 2013; Revised 15 November 2013; Accepted 22 November 2013

Academic Editor: Miguel A. Correa-Duarte

Copyright © 2013 Wei-Rong Zhong et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Transport of helium atoms in the carbon nanotubes is investigated in the presence of temperature gradients. The heat current flowing along the carbon nanotubes can induce a stable directed transport of helium; it is demonstrated that the heat current density rather than the temperature gradient performs as a fundamental physical factor to the mass transport. We provide an alternative route to control the mass transport by using heat. Our results reported here are also relevant for understanding the transition from thermal energy to mechanical energy.