Self-folding of single- and multiwall carbon nanotubes

W. Zhou, Y. Huang*, B. Liu, K. C. Hwang, J. M. Zuo, M. J. Buehler, H. Gao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Long carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have many important applications. However, long CNTs may self-fold and therefore compromise their applications. The authors have determined the critical length for self-folding as 4π EIγ, where EI and γ are the CNT bending stiffness and binding energy, respectively. This simple expression has been verified by atomistic simulations. For single-wall CNTs, the critical self-folding length ranges from a few hundred nanometers to about 2 μm. For multiwall CNTs, the critical length increases rapidly with the number of walls and exceeds 10 μm for a 14-wall CNT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number073107
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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