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Computational Studies on Mechanical and Thermal Properties of Carbon Nanotube Based Nanostructures

Arnab Chakrabarty1, Tahir Çağin1

Texas A&M University, Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering, 519 Jack E. Brown Engineering Building, 3122 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-3122

Computers, Materials & Continua 2008, 7(3), 167-190.


The excellent set of properties of carbon nanotube and carbon nanotube-based nanostructures has been established by various studies. However the claimed property values and trends have not been unanimously agreed upon. Using state of the art molecular dynamics and ab initio methods, we have extensively studied the mechanical, thermal and structural properties of carbon nanotubes and carbon nanotube based nanostructures. Additionally this study aims to address the approaches used in various studies to assess the validity and influence of various definitions used for determining the physical properties as reported in earlier experiments and theoretical calculations. We have come up with equations, which quantitatively address the wide differences in trend and values of nanotube axial modulus available across the literature. Applying a novel bond rearrangement scheme, we have found similar values in twist modulus of zigzag and armchair nanotubes. This opposes the claim of difference that was shown to be valid only at finite limit in our study. We have shown that the contribution of van der Waals energy in a multi-wall nanotube is powerful enough to make it hexagonal in shape but negligible in affecting the axial modulus. These insights will also help in designing micromechanics model of materials made from carbon nanotube or nanotube like structures. In particular, we have calculated the mechanical properties (young modulus, bending modulus and twist modulus) of isolated and bundled nanotubes, single and multi-wall nanotubes and single and multi-wall carbon nanotube based tori. We also report studies on thermal variation of moduli and thermal expansion of nanotubes. The result obtained by first principles calculation based interatomic potential agrees well with the experimental results.

Cite This Article

A. . Chakrabarty and T. . . ˇgin, "Computational studies on mechanical and thermal properties of carbon nanotube based nanostructures," Computers, Materials & Continua, vol. 7, no.3, pp. 167–190, 2008.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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