Journal article

Radial elasticity of multiwalled carbon nanotubes

We report an experimental and a theoretical study of the radial elasticity of multiwalled carbon nanotubes as a function of external radius. We use atomic force microscopy and apply small indentation amplitudes in order to stay in the linear elasticity regime. The number of layers for a given tube radius is inferred from transmission electron microscopy, revealing constant ratios of external to internal radii. This enables a comparison with molecular dynamics results, which also shed some light onto the applicability of Hertz theory in this context. Using this theory, we find a radial Young modulus strongly decreasing with increasing radius and reaching an asymptotic value of 30± 10 GPa.

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