Indexed on: 15 Jun '06Published on: 15 Jun '06Published in: Nano Letters
We exploit the remarkable low-friction bearing capabilities of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) to realize nanoelectromechanical switches. Our switches consist of two open-ended MWNT segments separated by a nanometer-scale gap. Switching occurs through electrostatically actuated sliding of the inner nanotube shells to close the gap, producing a conducting ON state. For double-walled nanotubes in particular, a gate voltage can restore the insulating OFF state. Acting as a nonvolatile memory element capable of several switching cycles, our devices are straightforward to implement, self-aligned, and do not require complex fabrication or geometries, allowing for convenient scalability.