A "fullerene-carbon nanotube" structure with tunable mechanical properties

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalNot applicablepeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number56001
Journal / PublicationEPL
Volume121
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2018

Abstract

Carbon-based nanostructures have drawn tremendous research interest and become promising building blocks for the new generation of smart sensors and devices. Utilizing a bottom-up strategy, the chemical interconnecting sp3 covalent bond between carbon building blocks is an efficient way to enhance its Young's modulus and ductility. The formation of sp3 covalent bond, however, inevitably degrades its ultimate tensile strength caused by stress concentration at the junction. By performing a molecular dynamics simulation of tensile deformation for a fullerene-carbon nanotube (FCNT) structure, we propose a tunable strategy in which fullerenes with various angle energy absorption capacities are utilized as building blocks to tune their ductile behavior, while still maintaining a good ultimate tensile strength of the carbon building blocks. A higher ultimate tensile strength is revealed with the reduction of stress concentration at the junction. A brittle-to-ductile transition during the tensile deformation is detected through the structural modification. The development of ductile behavior is attributed to the improvement of energy propagation ability during the fracture initiation, in which the released energy from bonds fracture is mitigated properly, leading to the further development of mechanical properties.