1 April 2015 Molecular mechanics methods for individual carbon nanotubes and nanotube assemblies
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Abstract
Since many years, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been considered for a wide range of applications due to their outstanding mechanical properties. CNTs are tubular structures, showing a graphene like hexagonal lattice. Our interest in the calculation of the mechanical properties is motivated by several applications which demand the knowledge of the material behavior. One application in which the knowledge of the material behavior is vital is the CNT based fiber. Due to the excellent stiffness and strength of the individual CNTs, these fibers are expected to be a promising successor for state of the art carbon fibers. However, the mechanical properties of the fibers fall back behind the properties of individual CNTs. It is assumed that this gap in the properties is a result of the van-der-Waals interactions of the individual CNTs within the fiber. In order to understand the mechanical behavior of the fibers we apply a molecular mechanics approach.

The mechanical properties of the individual CNTs are investigated by using a modified structural molecular mechanics approach. This is done by calculating the properties of a truss-beam element framework representing the CNT with the help of a chemical force field.

Furthermore, we also investigate the interactions of CNTs arranged in basic CNT assemblies, mimicking the ones in a simple CNT fiber. We consider the van-der-Waals interactions in the structure and calculate the potential surface of the CNT assemblies.
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Oliver Eberhardt, Thomas Wallmersperger, "Molecular mechanics methods for individual carbon nanotubes and nanotube assemblies", Proc. SPIE 9432, Behavior and Mechanics of Multifunctional Materials and Composites 2015, 94320G (1 April 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2084209; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2084209
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