Finite deformation continuum model for single-walled carbon nanotubes

Document Type


Publication Date



A continuum-based model for computing strain energies and estimating Young's modulus of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) is developed by using an energy equivalence-based multi-scale approach. A SWCNT is viewed as a continuum hollow cylinder formed by rolling up a flat graphite sheet that is treated as an isotropic continuum plate. Kinematic analysis is performed on the continuum level, with the Hencky (true) strain and the Cauchy (true) stress being employed to account for finite deformations. Based on the equivalence of the strain energy and the molecular potential energy, a formula for calculating Young's modulus of SWCNTs is derived. This formula, containing both the molecular and continuum scale parameters, directly links macroscopic responses of nanotubes to their molecular structures. Sample numerical results show that the predictions by the new model compare favorably with those by several existing continuum and molecular dynamics models. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication Title

International Journal of Solids and Structures