Modulus, Fracture Strength, and Brittle vs. Plastic Response of the Outer Shell of Arc-grown Multi-walled Carbon Nanotubes

Abstract

The fracture strengths and elastic moduli of arc-grown multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were measured by tensile loading inside of a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Eighteen tensile tests were performed on 14 MWCNTs with three of them being tested multiple times (3 , 2 , and 2 , respectively). All the MWCNTs fractured in the Bsword-insheath’’ mode. The diameters of the MWCNTs were measured in a transmission electron microscope (TEM), and the outer diameter with an assumed 0.34 nm shell thickness was used to convert measured loaddisplacement data to stress and strain values. An unusual yielding before fracture was observed in two tensile loading experiments. The 18 outer shell fracture strength values ranged from 10 to 66 GPa, and the 18 Young’s modulus values, obtained from a linear fit of the stress–strain data, ranged from 620 to 1,200 GPa, with a mean of 940 GPa. The possible influence of stress concentration at the clamps is discussed.

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11 Figures and Tables

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