The mechanical properties of materials and particularly the strength are greatly affected by the presence of defects; therefore, the theoretical strength (≈10% of the Young's modulus) is not generally achievable for macroscopic objects. On the contrary, nanotubes, which are almost defect-free, should achieve the theoretical strength that would be reflected in superior mechanical properties. In this study, both tensile tests and buckling experiments of individual WS2 nanotubes were carried out in a high-resolution scanning electron microscope. Tensile tests of MoS2 nanotubes were simulated by means of a density-functional tight-binding-based molecular dynamics scheme as well. The combination of these studies provides a microscopic picture of the nature of the fracture process, giving insight to the strength and flexibility of the WS2 nanotubes (tensile strength of ≈16 GPa). Fracture analysis with recently proposed models indicates that the strength of such nanotubes is governed by a small number of defects. A fraction of the nanotubes attained the theoretical strength indicating absence of defects.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|Publication status||Published - 2006 Jan 17|
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