Direct mechanical measurement of the tensile strength and elastic modulus of multiwalled carbon nanotubes

By Brian Demczyk1, Y.M. Wang, J. Cumings, M. Hetman, W. Han, A. Zettl. R. O. Ritchie

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This work represents the first in-situ measurenment of the tensile strength of a carbon nanotuube.


Transmission electron microscopy was performed at the National Center for Electron Microscopy at the Lawrence

Berkeley National Laboratory.

Sponsored by

This research was supported in part by the Director of the Office of Science, Office of Science, Materials Sciences Division of the
United States Department of Energy, contract number DEAC03-76SF00098 (mechanical tests) and grants DMR 98-01738 and DMR 95-01156 from the National Science Foundation (materials synthesis).

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • The paper by Demczyk et al. (2002) is the basic reference for the experimental determination of the tensile strengths of individual multi-wall nanotube (MWNT) fibers. The experiments are performed with a microfabricated piezo-electric device. On this device CNTs in the length range of tens of microns are mounted. The tensile measurements are obseverd by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and videotaped. Measurements of the tensile strength (tension vs. strain) were performed as well as Young modulus and bending stiffness. Breaking tension is reached for the SWNT at 150 GPa and between 3.5% and 5% of strain. During the measurements 'telescoping' extension of the MWNTs is observed, indicating that single-wall nanotubes (SWNT) could be even stronger. However, 150 GPa remains the value for the tensile strength that was experimentally observed for carbon
    nanotubes on

  • Brian Demczyk; Y.M. Wang; J. Cumings; M. Hetman; W. Han; A. Zettl. R. O. Ritchie (2011), "Direct mechanical measurement of the tensile strength and elastic modulus of multiwalled carbon nanotubes,"

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