Nanoarchitectured materials composed of fullerene-like spheroids and disordered graphene layers with tunable mechanical properties

ZS Zhao and EF Wang and HP Yan and Y Kono and B Wen and LG Bai and F Shi and JF Zhang and C Kenney-Benson and CY Park and YB Wang and GY Shen, NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 6, 6212 (2015).

DOI: 10.1038/ncomms7212

Type-II glass-like carbon is a widely used material with a unique combination of properties including low density, high strength, extreme impermeability to gas and liquid and resistance to chemical corrosion. It can be considered as a carbon-based nanoarchitectured material, consisting of a disordered multilayer graphene matrix encasing numerous randomly distributed nanosized fullerene-like spheroids. Here we show that under both hydrostatic compression and triaxial deformation, this high-strength material is highly compressible and exhibits a superelastic ability to recover from large strains. Under hydrostatic compression, bulk, shear and Young's moduli decrease anomalously with pressure, reaching minima around 1-2 GPa, where Poisson's ratio approaches zero, and then revert to normal behaviour with positive pressure dependences. Controlling the concentration, size and shape of fullerene-like spheroids with tailored topological connectivity to graphene layers is expected to yield exceptional and tunable mechanical properties, similar to mechanical metamaterials, with potentially wide applications.

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