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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)