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Published February 29, 2008 | Published
Journal Article Open

Entanglement and the Nonlinear Elastic Behavior of Forests of Coiled Carbon Nanotubes


Helical or coiled nanostructures have been objects of intense experimental and theoretical studies due to their special electronic and mechanical properties. Recently, it was experimentally reported that the dynamical response of a foamlike forest of coiled carbon nanotubes under mechanical impact exhibits a nonlinear, non-Hertzian behavior, with no trace of plastic deformation. The physical origin of this unusual behavior is not yet fully understood. In this Letter, based on analytical models, we show that the entanglement among neighboring coils in the superior part of the forest surface must be taken into account for a full description of the strongly nonlinear behavior of the impact response of a drop ball onto a forest of coiled carbon nanotubes.

Additional Information

© 2008 The American Physical Society. (Received 28 August 2007; published 29 February 2008) We acknowledge the financial support from IMMP/MCT, IN/MCT, BNN/CNPq, THEO-NANO, and the Brazilian agencies FAPESP, CAPES, and CNPq. A.F.F. acknowledges additional support from the CNPq.

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