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ICTP Nanophysics research published

Work appears in Physical Review Letters

Erio Tosatti and Giuseppe Santoro of ICTP's Condensed Matter section, along with two other researchers, have had a paper published and highlighted in the 23 March issue of the American Physical Society's Physical Review Letters. The paper, titled "Dynamical Chiral Symmetry Breaking in Sliding Nanotubes", describes the group's unanticipated discovery of a dynamic spontaneous breaking of chiral symmetry occurring in nanoscale friction.

Simulations involving the frictional sliding of carbon nanotubes showed the spontaneous appearance of internal angular momentum—a phenomenon analogous to that known in a strongly pinched vibrating string. Possibly revealed through the electron currents it might entail, this general type of chirality breaking could be of interest to researchers in the field of nanomotors.


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