The effects of extensive pitting on the mechanical properties of carbon nanotubes

Steven L. Mielke, Sulin Zhang, Roopam Khare, Rodney S. Ruoff, Ted Belytschko, George C. Schatz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


As previously demonstrated, a single hole is sufficient to markedly reduce the fracture strength of a carbon nanotube (CNT). Herein we present calculations exploring the effects of multiple holes on the modulus, fracture strength, and fracture strain of CNTs. The modulus decreases sharply and approximately linearly as a function of the pitting density. A few holes cause a decrease in the failure strain but extensive pitting leads to higher failure strains. These results suggest that the unusually low modulus measurements and high failure strains reported in the experiments of Yu et al. [Science 287 (2000) 637] were a consequence of purification induced oxidative pitting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-132
Number of pages5
JournalChemical Physics Letters
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Sep 26 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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