Agglomeration Dynamics of 1D Materials: Gas-Phase Collision Rates of Nanotubes and Nanorods

Adam M. Boies, Christian Hoecker, Ajinkya Bhalerao, Nikolaos Kateris, Jean de La Verpilliere, Brian Graves, Fiona Smail

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The agglomeration and self-assembly of gas-phase 1D materials in anthropogenic and natural systems dictate their resulting nanoscale morphology, multiscale hierarchy, and ultimate macroscale properties. Brownian motion induces collisions, upon which 1D materials often restructure to form bundles and can lead to aerogels. Herein, the first results of collision rates for 1D nanomaterials undergoing thermal transport are presented. The Langevin dynamic simulations of nanotube rotation and translation demonstrate that the collision kernels for rigid nanotubes or nanorods are ≈10 times greater than spherical systems. Resulting reduced order equations allow straightforward calculation of the physical parameters to determine the collision kernel for straight and curved 1D materials from 102 to 106 nm length. The collision kernels of curved 1D structures increase ≈1.3 times for long (>102 nm), and ≈5 times for short (≈102 nm) relative to rigid materials. Applications of collision frequencies allow the first kinetic analysis of aerogel self-assembly from gas-phase carbon nanotubes (CNTs). The timescales for CNT collision and bundle formation (0.3–42 s) agree with empirical residence times in CNT reactors (3–15 s). These results provide insights into the CNT length, number, and timescales required for aerogel formation, which bolsters our understanding of mass-produced 1D aerogel materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1900520
Issue number27
StatePublished - Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank D. Seveno, L. Weller, and R. Nishida for their contributions. The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the Engineering and Physical Research Council (Grant No. EPSRC: EP/M015211/1).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 The Authors. Published by WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • aerogels
  • carbon nanotubes
  • collision kernel
  • Langevin dynamics
  • nanorods

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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