Stick-Spiral Model for Studying Mechanical Properties of Carbon Nanotubes

Part of the Challenges and Advances in Computational Chemistry and Physics book series (COCH, volume 9)


Quantum/molecular mechanics and continuum mechanics have been highly developed to describe material properties at small and large length scales. As we enter the era of nanotechnology, it has become increasingly important to model phenomena at mesoscopic length scales. Two alternative approaches, namely the “bottom up” approach based on quantum/molecular mechanics and the “top down” approach based on continuum mechanics, are frequently used to model mechanical properties of nano-structured materials. However, the connection between these two approaches is not well established. Much effort has been made to develop theories and approaches to span multiple length scales or to bridge gap between the two approaches. Based on a molecular mechanics concept, a stick-spiral model is developed to analytically link the molecular structure and macroscopic properties of carbon nanotubes. We review and summarize in this chapter the recent advances on this model


Carbon nanotubes Mechanical properties Multiscale model 



Financial supports from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (10402019, 10732040), Shanghai Rising-Star Program (05QMX1421), and Shanghai Leading Academic Discipline Project (Y0103) are gratefully acknowledged. The author thanks also all contributors who assisted with developing the stick-spiral model.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Shanghai Institute of Applied Mathematics and Mechanics, Institute of Low Dimensional Carbon and Device PhysicsShanghai UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China

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