Mechanical deformations of carbon nanorings: a study by molecular dynamics and nonlocal continuum mechanics

J Zhang, MECCANICA, 54, 2281-2293 (2019).

DOI: 10.1007/s11012-019-01069-1

Understanding of the elastic deformation behaviours of recently synthesised carbon nanorings (CNRs) is crucial in guiding their future applications, because the strain engineering provides an efficient means to modify their physical and chemical properties. In this paper, by using molecular dynamics simulations and nonlocal continuum mechanics models, we study the elastic deformations of CNRs with three different molecular structures, i.e., cycloparaphenylenes (CPPs), 4cyclochrysenylenes and cyclacenes. Our results show that, compared to other two types of CNRs, CPPs have the smallest mechanical stiffness, which is attributed to the influence of numerous weak connecting carbon- carbon bonds existing between their component benzene rings. In addition to the molecular structure, the elastic deformation behaviours of CNRs are also found to strongly depend on the size. Specifically, the compressive stiffness of CNRs is found to increase as their size (radius) decreases. Meanwhile, the size reduction of CNRs can trigger the anisotropy of their compressive stiffness and can also aggravate the influence of small-scale effects on their elastic deformation behaviours, which can significantly reduce the compressive stiffness.

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