Symmetry-, time, and temperature-dependent strength of carbon nanotubes

Traian Dumitrica, Ming Hua, Boris I. Yakobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

242 Scopus citations


Although the strength of carbon nanotubes has been of great interest, their ideal value has remained elusive both experimentally and theoretically. Here, we present a comprehensive analysis of underlying atomic mechanisms and evaluate the yield strain for arbitrary nanotubes at realistic conditions. For this purpose, we combine detailed quantum mechanical computations of failure nucleation and transition-state barriers with the probabilistic approach of the rate theory. The numerical results are then summarized in a concise set of equations for the breaking strain. We reveal a competition between two alternative routes of brittle bond breaking and plastic relaxation, determine the domains of their dominance, and map the nanotube strength as a function of chiral symmetry, tensile test time, and temperature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6105-6109
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 18 2006


  • Isomerization
  • Mechanics
  • Plasticity
  • Rate theory


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