The intrinsic stiffness of single-wall carbon nanotubes

J. Wu, J. Peng, K. C. Hwang, J. Song, Y. Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Single-wall carbon nanotubes have been frequently modeled as linear elastic thin shells. We have compared the atomistic-based shell theory for single-wall carbon nanotubes which was established directly from the interatomic potential to the classical linear elastic shell theory. It is shown that the constitutive relation is linear (within 2% error) only for strain up to 1%. The constitutive relation is approximately isotropic prior to deformation, but the degree of anisotropy increases rapidly as the deformation increases. The coupling between the stress and curvature, and between the bending moment and strain, which is neglected in the classical shell theory, is important for the constitutive behavior of single-wall carbon nanotubes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2-9
Number of pages8
JournalMechanics Research Communications
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • Anisotropy
  • Coupling
  • Nonlinearity
  • Shell theory
  • Single-wall carbon nanotubes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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