Building nanotubes models with SAMSON


In this quick tutorial, you will learn how to easily generate nanotube models within SAMSON.

Nanotube creator

First, make sure you have the Nanotube creator SAMSON Element that you can find on SAMSON Connect:

If you need help with installing new SAMSON Elements to your SAMSON installation, please visit this page. If you need help with installing SAMSON itself, please visit this page.

Note: you can check whether you have this SAMSON Element in at least three different ways:

  1. In the Edit / Editors menu of SAMSON
  2. In the Edit / Preferences / Installation / Updates list in SAMSON
  3. Under My SAMSON / My Elements when you are signed in at SAMSON Connect

The Nanotube creator SAMSON Element contains an editor, i.e. a tool that responds to mouse and keyboard events. In this case, the editor allows you to create carbon nanotubes with two mouse clicks.

In SAMSON, only one editor is active at any time, so that you first have to activate the nanotube creator. You can do this with the Edit / Editors / Nanotube creator menu, or with the corresponding icon in the Editors toolbar:

Note that SAMSON builds its interface from the SAMSON Elements you add from SAMSON Connect, so your Editors toolbar may look different from the image above.

Building nanotubes models

You have two main ways to create nanotubes: interactively in the viewport (with the mouse), and with the nanotube creator GUI (graphical user interface).

Interactive nanotubes models building

You can interactively build nanotubes in the viewport in two steps:

  1. Set the nanotube axis: press and drag the left mouse button inside the viewport:

    During this step, the status bar gives you some information about the current structure, e.g.:

    If you feel unsure about what the n and m parameters mean, please refer to this Wikipedia article.

  2. set the nanotube n and m parameters: a) release the left mouse button, b) move the mouse to change n and m, c) click the left mouse button again to accept:

    Make sure you check the status bar during this step as well to precisely choose the n and m parameters.

Building nanotubes from the GUI

If you want to precisely control the axis position, the best option might be to directly enter parameters from the editor GUI.

To show the editor GUI (if it is not already visible), click a second time on the editor icon (or select it again from the menu). You should see the following:

Note: selecting an editor alternatively shows and hides its GUI.

Using the GUI, you may easily create multi-walled nanotubes. For example, try (0, 0, 0) and (40, 0, 0) for the beginning and end positions of the nanotubes axes, respectively, to produce a 40-Angstrom-long nanotube. Then:

  1. Set n and m to 6. Press “Generate”.
  2. Set n and m to 10. Press “Generate”.
  3. Set n and m to 14. Press “Generate”.

This will produce the multi-walled nanotube below:

To go further

Now that you know how to produce nanotubes models, you may want to produce images of them for publications, or interactively simulate them with the Brenner potential to build more complex objects.

Have fun, and don’t hesitate to comment below or use the forum if you have any questions!


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