Persistence Length and Nanomechanics of Random Bundles of Nanotubes
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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 wordsbundles of nanotubes modeling and simulation mechanical properties processing nanoscience
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