Computational Investigation of Large-Diameter Carbon Nanotubes in Bundles for High-Strength Materials

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Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics


Carbon nanotube aerogels are interesting platforms for the manufacture of lightweight composites. To guide the development, we screen with tight-binding atomistic calculations two primary crystalline organizations of nanotubes with 1.4-4.5 nm radii and 1-3 number of walls. Calculations reveal a crossover from polygonized nanotubes with hexagonal close-packing organizations to collapsed shapes organized in stacks. The energies of the two modes are captured into a concise form, which predicts the crossover radii and domains of their dominance. The graphite-like phase formed with collapsed nanotubes allows for ∼1 TPa Young's moduli. Bundles of collapsed nanotubes emerge as natural candidates for the developmnent of ultrastrong composites.

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© 2020 American Chemical Society. Publisher’s version of record:

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ACS Applied Nano Materials