21 January 2007

Stretchy "honeycomb" nanotubes more ductile

Honeycomb nanotubes

If you build your stretchy nanotubes into a honeycomb-like web they can recover better from failures, say Min Wang, Xinming Qiu, & Xiong Zhang from Tsinghua University.

While it looks like a fish-net, the atomic scale changes the way things work:

the forces that determine the nanostructure’s properties are actually quite different from those of a macroscopic honeycomb or fishnet because of the great scale difference. For example, the scientists indicate that the van der Waals interactions & the recombination of bonds at the atomic level would affect the results when the structure is stretched.

The result is that the honeycomb can load-share much better than “straight” nanotubes, leading to it facing the (inevitable) wear-&-tear better.

Interesting new materials should result.

Here is another molecular honeycomb forming, this time naturally.

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