Deformation of nanotubes in peeling contact with flat substrate: An in situ electron microscopy nanomechanical study
Journal of Applied Physics
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© 2016 Author(s).Peeling of one-dimensional (1D) nanostructures from flat substrates is an essential technique in studying their adhesion properties. The mechanical deformation of the nanostructure in the peeling experiment is critical to the understanding of the peeling process and the interpretation of the peeling measurements, but it is challenging to measure directly and quantitatively at the nanoscale. Here, we investigate the peeling deformation of a bundled carbon nanotube (CNT) fiber by using an in situ scanning electron microscopy nanomechanical peeling technique. A pre-calibrated atomic force microscopy cantilever is utilized as the peeling force sensor, and its back surface acts as the peeling contact substrate. The nanomechanical peeling scheme enables a quantitative characterization of the deformational behaviors of the CNT fiber in both positive and negative peeling configurations with sub-10 nm spatial and sub-nN force resolutions. Nonlinear continuum mechanics models and finite element simulations are employed to interpret the peeling measurements. The measurements and analysis reveal that the structural imperfections in the CNT fiber may have a substantial influence on its peeling deformations and the corresponding peeling forces. The research findings reported in this work are useful to the study of mechanical and adhesion properties of 1D nanostructures by using nanomechanical peeling techniques.
AuthorsChen, X; Zheng, M; Wei, Q; Signetti, S; Pugno, NM; Ke, C
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