Mechanics of folding of nanorings

FW Li and H Li and M Li and Z Kang, MECHANICS OF MATERIALS, 148, 103493 (2020).

DOI: 10.1016/j.mechmat.2020.103493

Nanorings are prone to folding as a result of the competition between van der Waals interactions and mechanical rigidity, and thus have promising potential applications in reprogrammable/reconfigurable and strain engineering fields. A small-deformation continuum model is proposed to investigate the folding of nanorings and to predict their critical radii for stable folding. The critical radius of a nanoring is found to be dependent on the ratio of the component nanotube bending stiffness to the inter-tube binding energy, both of which are dependent on the radius of the component nanotube. The unfolding of folded nanorings by annealing is also studied through molecular dynamics simulations.

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