Topics in Applied Physics Volume 80, 2001, pp 287-327
Date: 09 Mar 2001

Mechanical Properties of Carbon Nanotubes

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This paper presents an overview of the mechanical properties of carbon nanotubes, starting from the linear elastic parameters, nonlinear elastic instabilities and buckling, and the inelastic relaxation, yield strength and fracture mechanisms. A summary of experimental findings is followed by more detailed discussion of theoretical and computational models for the entire range of the deformation amplitudes. Non-covalent forces (supra-molecular interactions) between the nanotubes and with the substrates are also discussed, due to their significance in potential applications.