Defective boron nitride nanotubes : Mechanical properties, electronic structures and failure behaviors

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Original languageEnglish
Article number125303
Journal / PublicationJournal of Physics D: Applied Physics
Issue number12
Online published26 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2018


Due to their excellent physical and chemical characteristics, boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) are regarded as a complementary addition to carbon nanotubes. Pioneer studies have demonstrated that defects in carbon nanotubes are considered tools for tuning the physical properties of these materials. In the present work, investigation on the mechanical and electronic properties of pristine and defective BNNTs was performed using the density functional theory method. The analysis on the intrinsic strength, stiffness, and failure critical strain of different types of BNNTs was conducted systematically. The computing results showed that the intrinsic strength of BNNTs decreased linearly with the increased Stone-Wales (SW) defect density around the axis. The SW defect density along the axis played a minor role on the changing of mechanical properties of BNNTs. The BNNT with a B vacancy expressed higher intrinsic strength than that of the N vacancy model. The final failure of the pristine BNNTs was due to the fracture of the Type1 bonds under the mechanical strain. Defects like SW or vacancy are served as the initial break site of BNNTs. Applying strain or creating defects are both effective methods for reducing the band gap of BNNTs.

Research Area(s)

  • boron nitride nanotube, density functional theory, electronic structure, fracture behavior, mechanical property