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Published October 2004 | public
Journal Article

Dynamic Nanofragmentation of Carbon Nanotubes


We report a new phenomenon of dynamic nanofragmentation of DC plasma grown carbon nanotubes under high-strain-rate conditions. An impacting sphere on vertically aligned multiwall nanotubes caused them to break up into short segments in just 15 microseconds with a relatively uniform length range of ∼100−150 nm. The ends of the fragmented nanotubes often exhibit an irregular oval or hexagonal cross-section. Some of the fragments show a sign of plastic bending near the fracture point. The mechanisms of multiple-breakup of nanotubes may be tentatively attributed to elastic buckling and fracture at the nodes or weak points, sequential fragmentation due to local bending, or contact interaction of crossed nanotubes. The observed cutting of nanotubes may conveniently be utilized for their resizing and end-opening for a variety of applications such as nanocomposite synthesis, nanoscale and large-surface-area reservoirs to store chemical reactants/catalysts, nanocarriers for therapeutic drugs/DNAs/proteins, and various other nanoelectronics and nanomechanics applications.

Additional Information

© 2004 American Chemical Society. Received July 6, 2004; Revised Manuscript; Received August 13, 2004; Publication Date (Web): August 28, 2004. The research support from NSF under Grant No. DCMS03013220 and NSF-NIRT under Grant No. UKRF 4-65998-03-129 is gratefully acknowledged.

Additional details

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October 20, 2023