Mechanics of hydrogen storage in carbon nanotubes

Y. L. Chen, B. Liu*, J. Wu, Y. Huang, H. Jiang, K. C. Hwang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


A continuum mechanics model is established for hydrogen storage in single- and multi-wall carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and the bundle of single-wall CNTs. The model accounts for the deformation of CNTs, and van der Waals interactions among hydrogen molecules and between hydrogen and carbon atoms. The analytical expressions of hydrogen storage (number of hydrogen molecules per unit volume) in CNTs are obtained, and are validated by atomistic simulations. CNTs are categorized as tiny, small, medium and large CNTs; tiny CNTs cannot achieve the goals of hydrogen storage (62 kg/m3 and 6.5 wt% of hydrogen set by the US Department of Energy) without fracture; small CNTs are strained during hydrogen storage; medium CNTs can achieve the above goals without the strain and do not self collapse; and large CNTs may self collapse upon the release of hydrogen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3224-3241
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2008


  • Analytical solution
  • Atomistic simulations
  • Carbon nanotube
  • Continuum model
  • Hydrogen storage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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