Molecular mechanics simulations were performed to probe the incipient plastic deformation in carbon nanotubes (CNTs), which involves nucleation of Stone-Wales (SW) defects and spiral glide of 5/7 dislocation dipoles that lead to quantized necking through a stepwise reduction in tube diameter. Quantification of the strain-dependent energetics of dislocation glide reveals that such dislocation motions are energetically favoured at high tensile strain. Pre-existing dislocations critically affect subsequent nucleation and separation of SW defects, as manifested by the competing deformation modes of symmetric versus asymmetric necking. The results provide a quantitative basis for the dislocation dynamics simulations of superplastically deformed CNTs.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics