Modelling encapsulation of acetylene molecules in carbon nanotubes
Polyacetylene is a well-known conductive polymer and when doped its conductivity can be altered by up to 12 orders of magnitude. However, due to entropy effects a polyacetylene chain usually suffers from distortions and interchain couplings which lead to unpredictable changes in its conducting property. Encapsulating a polyacetylene chain into a carbon nanotube can resolve these issues. Furthermore, since the carbon nanotube itself possesses excellent electrical conductivity, the combination of the carbon nanotube and polyacetylene may give rise to a new material with superior transport behavior. In this paper, we model mathematically the molecular interaction between an acetylene molecule and a carbon nanotube in order to determine conditions at which configurations of the acetylene molecule are accepted into the carbon nanotube as well as its equilibrium configurations inside various sizes of carbon nanotubes. For special cases of the acetylene molecule lying on the tube axis, standing vertically with its center on the tube axis and staying far inside the tube, explicit analytical expressions for the interaction energy are obtained.