Strength map of carbon nanotube
In theory, carbon nanotubes are 100 times stronger than steel at one-sixth the weight, but in practice, scientists have struggled make nanotubes that live up to those predictions. This is partly because there are still many unanswered questions about how nanotubes break and under what conditions.
Recently, Prof. Boris I. Yakobson at Rice University, his former postdoc Traian Dumitrica (now assistant professor at University of Minnesota), and his doctoral student Ming Hua, have developed a new computer modeling approach to create a “strength map” that plots the likelihood or probability that a carbon nanotube will break—and how it’s likely to break. Four critical variables are considered in the model: load level, load duration, temperature, and chirality. This work was published in the Proceedings of the National Adacemy of Sciences (Apr. 18, 2006 Cover feature). Full text pdf file of this paper is available here .