Coaxial Boron-Nitride/Carbon Nanotubes as a Potential Replacement for Double-Walled Carbon Nanotubes for High Strain Applications

A Chandra and NMA Krishnan and PK Patra and D Ghosh, JOURNAL OF NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY, 17, 5252-5260 (2017).

DOI: 10.1166/jnn.2017.13819

Recently fabricated coaxial Boron Nitride/Carbon nanotubes offer a potential replacement for double walled carbon nanotubes (DWCNTs) and boron nitride nanotubes (DWBNTs). However, an understanding of the mechanical response is imperative before using coaxial NTs for any device based application. In the present work, the buckling behavior of CNTs embedded within BNTs (C@BN) and BNTs embedded within CNTs (BN@C) under uniaxial compressive loading at 300 K is explored using molecular dynamics simulations. The nanotubes are modeled using the Tersoff three body potential, with the inter-wall interaction estimated using the Lennard-Jones potential. Our results identify a critical interlayer spacing corresponding to which the nanotubes display maximum buckling force and strain. Associated mechanism reveals an interesting radius and chirality dependent buckling behavior. The BN@C nanotubes are found to be superior to others in terms of buckling strain, while exhibiting buckling strength comparable with DWCNTs. These superior properties make them a potential candidate for replacing DWCNTs in applications that demand large compressive strains. The inner CNTs of the C@BN nanotubes act like a reinforcing agent, and therefore, these nanotubes have larger buckling strength than DWBNTs. However, their good buckling strength is marred by a substantial reduction in buckling strain, making them an inferior replacement for DWBNTs in applications requiring large-strains.

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