NEC Research Institute Technical Report 1998

Young's Modulus of Single-Walled Nanotubes

A. Krishnan and E. Dujardin and T. W. Ebbesen and P. N. Yianilos and M. M. J. Treacy

Abstract: We estimate the stiffness of single-walled carbon nanotubes by observing their free-standing room temperature vibrations in a transmission electron microscope. The nanotube dimensions and vibration amplitude are measured from electron micrographs, and it is assumed that the vibration modes are driven stochastically and are those of a clamped cantilever. Micrographs of 27 nanotubes in the diameter range 1.0 to 1.5 nm were measured to yield an average Young's modulus of = 1.25 TPa. This value is consistent with previous measurements for multi-walled nanotubes, and is higher than the currently accepted value of the in-plane modulus of graphite.