Journal of Nanoparticle Research

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 105–110

Persistence Length and Nanomechanics of Random Bundles of Nanotubes


DOI: 10.1007/s11051-005-8335-3

Cite this article as:
Yakobson, B.I. & Couchman, L.S. J Nanopart Res (2006) 8: 105. doi:10.1007/s11051-005-8335-3


A connection between the stiffness of carbon nanotubes (CNT) and their mesoscopic physical behaviour is presented. Persistence lengths of CNT and bundles are calculated and shown to be in macroscopic range (0.03–1 mm for an individual tube), exceeding by many orders of magnitude the typical diameters (around 1–3 nm). Consequently, thermal fluctuations can be neglected when scaling analysis is applied to randomly packed (as produced) CNT network, leading to an approximate equation of state for such material. Beyond the linear elasticity, the outmost CNT are shown to gradually split from the bent bundles; this permits access of solvent or reacting species to the CNT walls, an important mechanism promoting solubilization and chemical functionalization of nanotubes.

Key words

bundles of nanotubes modeling and simulation mechanical properties processing nanoscience 

Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Department of Chemistry, and Center for Nanoscale Science and TechnologyRice UniversityHoustonUnited states
  2. 2.Code 7130Naval Research LaboratoryWashingtonUnited states

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