Size effect on brittle and ductile fracture of two-dimensional interlinked carbon nanotube network

YH Jing and NR Aluru, PHYSICA B-CONDENSED MATTER, 520, 82-88 (2017).

DOI: 10.1016/j.physb.2017.06.026

The mechanical properties of two-dimensional (2D) interlinked carbon nanotube (CNT) network are investigated using ab initio calculation and molecular dynamics simulations (MD) with Reaxff force field. The simulation results show that bulk 2D interlinked CNT network has good mechanical properties along the axial direction which can be comparable to that of single-walled CNT and graphene, but has better ductility along the radial direction than single-walled CNT and graphene. In addition, the mechanical properties of 2D interlinked CNT network ribbon along the radial direction depend strongly on the size of the ribbon. The Young's modulus and Poisson's ratio decrease as the size increases while the fracture strain increases with the size increasing. By analyzing the atomic structural (both bond length and atomic von Mises stress) evolution of the ribbons, the mechanism of a brittle-to-ductile transition is revealed. The exploration of the mechanical properties of the 2D interlinked CNT network paves the way for application of the relevant devices that can benefit from the high Young's modulus, high tensile strength, and good ductility.

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