Molecular dynamics analysis on buckling of defective carbon nanotubes. Academic Article uri icon


  • Owing to their remarkable mechanical properties, carbon nanotubes have been employed in many diverse areas of applications. However, similar to any of the many man-made materials used today, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are also susceptible to various kinds of defects. Understanding the effect of defects on the mechanical properties and behavior of CNTs is essential in the design of nanotube-based devices and composites. It has been found in various past studies that these defects can considerably affect the tensile strength and fracture of CNTs. Comprehensive studies on the effect of defects on the buckling and vibration of nanotubes is however lacking in the literature. In this paper, the effects of various configurations of atomic vacancy defects, on axial buckling of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs), in different thermal environments, is investigated using molecular dynamics simulations (MDS), based on a COMPASS force field. Our findings revealed that even a single missing atom can cause a significant reduction in the critical buckling strain and load of SWCNTs. In general, increasing the number of missing atoms, asymmetry of vacancy configurations and asymmetric distribution of vacancy clusters seemed to lead to higher deterioration in buckling properties. Further, SWCNTs with a single vacancy cluster, compared to SWCNTs with two or more vacancy clusters having the same number of missing atoms, appeared to cause higher deterioration of buckling properties. However, exceptions from the above mentioned trends could be expected due to chemical instabilities of defects. Temperature appeared to have less effect on defective CNTs compared to pristine CNTs.

published proceedings

  • J Phys Condens Matter

author list (cited authors)

  • Kulathunga, D., Ang, K. K., & Reddy, J. N.

citation count

  • 35

complete list of authors

  • Kulathunga, DDTK||Ang, KK||Reddy, JN

publication date

  • September 2010