Catalytically grown carbon nanotubes of small diameter have a high Young's modulus

  • Lukić B
  • Seo J
  • Bacsa R
 et al. 
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Experimental studies of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) obtained through different synthesis routes show considerable variability in their mechanical properties. The strongest CNTs obtained so far had a high Young’s modulus of 1 TPa but could only be produced in gram scale quantities. The synthesis by catalytic chemical vapor deposition, a method that holds the greatest potential for large-scale production, gives CNTs with a high defect density. This leads to low Young’s modulus values below 100 GPa for multiwall CNTs. Here we performed direct measurements of the mechanical properties of catalytically grown CNTs with only a few walls and find a Young’s modulus of 1 TPa. This high value is confirmed for CNTs grown under two different growth conditions where the synthesis parameters such as the hydrocarbon source, catalyst material, and the synthesis temperature were varied. The results indicate that the observed difference in the Young’s modulus for the catalytically grown CNTs with high and low numbers of walls is probably related to the growth mechanism of CNT

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  • Branimir Lukić

  • Jin Won Seo

  • Revathi R. Bacsa

  • Sandrine Delpeux

  • François Béguin

  • Geoffroy Bister

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