Table of Contents
Physics Research International
Volume 2010, Article ID 493478, 5 pages
Research Article

Selective Excitations of Transverse Vibrational Modes of a Carbon Nanotube through a “Shuttle-Like” Electromechanical Instability

Department of Physics, University of Gothenburg, 412 96 Göteborg, Sweden

Received 28 September 2009; Accepted 3 December 2009

Academic Editor: Slava V. Rotkin

Copyright © 2010 F. Santandrea. 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.


We study the dynamics of transverse oscillations of a suspended carbon nanotube into which electron current is injected from the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM). In this case the correlations between the displacement of the nanotube and its charge state, determined by the position-dependent electron tunneling rate, can lead to a “shuttle-like” instability for the transverse vibrational modes. We find that selective excitation of a specific mode can be achieved by an accurate positioning of the STM tip. This result suggests a feasible way to control the dynamics of this nano-electromechanical system (NEMS) based on the “shuttle instability.”