Nanoscale fracture mechanics

Steven L. Mielke, Ted Belytschkobelytschko, George C. Schatz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

46 Scopus citations


Theoretical calculations on undefected nanoscale materials predict impressive mechanical properties. In this review we summarize the status of experimental efforts to directly measure the fracture strengths of inorganic and carbon nanotubes and discuss possible explanations for the deviations between the predicted and observed values. We also summarize the role of theory in understanding the molecular-level origin of these deviations. In particular, we consider the role of defects such as vacancies, Stone-Wales defects, adatoms and ad-dimers, chemical functionalization, and oxidative pitting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAnnual Review of Physical Chemistry
PublisherAnnual Reviews Inc.
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)0824310586, 9780824310585
StatePublished - 2007

Publication series

NameAnnual Review of Physical Chemistry
ISSN (Print)0066-426X


  • Brittle fracture
  • Carbon nanotube fracture
  • Oxidative pitting
  • Plastic deformation
  • Stone-Wales defects
  • Vacancy defects


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