Buckling behavior of carbon nanotube-based intramolecular junctions under compression: Molecular dynamics simulation and finite element analysis

Z Kang and M Li and QQ Tang, COMPUTATIONAL MATERIALS SCIENCE, 50, 253-259 (2010).

DOI: 10.1016/j.commatsci.2010.08.011

Intramolecular junctions (IMJs) formed by connecting two arbitrary carbon nanotubes (CNTs) can act as functional building blocks in circuits and components of CNT-based electronics devices. While extensive studies have been conducted on the atomic structural as well as electrical properties of IMJs and great advances have been achieved, mechanical response of IMJs under large deformation, which may exert significant effects on their electrical properties, are still not fully explored. In this paper, both molecular dynamics (MD) simulation and finite element (FE) analysis are employed to investigate the buckling behavior of IMJs under axial compression. The strain rate effects are firstly studied in the MD simulations. It is found that the critical compressive strain is not sensitive to the strain rate of relatively low range, but it exhibits a strong dependency upon the strain rate under high speed compression. In particular, a different failure mode may occur under ultra-high loading velocities. Based on the discussion on the strain rate effects, a reasonable loading velocity is suggested to be adopted in the subsequent MD simulations. In this study, the results of both the MD simulations and the FE analyses indicate that the critical compressive strain is dependent upon the length, radial dimensions of the IMJ but insensitive to the chirality of the IMJ. The comparison between the results of the MD simulations and the FE analyses also confirms that the FE analysis is able to provide useful insights into the compressive behavior of CNT-based IMJs with a much less computational cost. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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