Bose-Einstein condensation of helium and hydrogen inside bundles of carbon nanotubes [95]

F. Ancilotto, M. M. Calbi, S. M. Gatica, M. W. Cole

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Helium atoms or hydrogen molecules are believed to be strongly bound within the interstitial channels (between three carbon nanotubes) within a bundle of many nanotubes. The effects on adsorption of a nonuniform distribution of tubes are evaluated. The energy of a single-particle state is the sum of a discrete transverse energy Et (that depends on the radii of neighboring tubes) and a quasicontinuous energy Ez of relatively free motion parallel to the axis of the tubes. At low temperature, the particles occupy the lowest-energy states, the focus of this study. The transverse energy attains a global minimum value (Et=Emin) for radii near R min =9.95 Å for H2 and 8.48 Å for 4He. The density of states N(E) near the lowest energy is found to vary linearly above this threshold value, i.e., N(E) is proportional to (E-Emin). As a result, there occurs a Bose-Einstein condensation of the molecules into the channel with the lowest transverse energy. The transition is characterized approximately as that of a four-dimensional gas, neglecting the interactions between the adsorbed particles. The phenomenon is observable, in principle, from a singular heat capacity. The existence of this transition depends on the sample having a relatively broad distribution of radii values that include some near Rmin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number165422
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number16
StatePublished - Oct 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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