Exceptionally high Young's modulus observed for individual carbon nanotubes

M. M.J. Treacy, T. W. Ebbesen, J. M. Gibson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5021 Scopus citations


CARBON nanotubes are predicted to have interesting mechanical properties - in particular, high stiffness and axial strength - as a result of their seamless cylindrical graphitic structure1'5. Their mechanical properties have so far eluded direct measurement, however, because of the very small dimensions of nanotubes. Here we estimate the Young's modulus of isolated nanotubes by measuring, in the transmission electron microscope, the amplitude of their intrinsic thermal vibrations. We find that carbon nanotubes have exceptionally high Young's moduli, in the terapascal (TPa) range. Their high stiffness, coupled with their low density, implies that nanotubes might be useful as nanoscale fibres in strong, lightweight composite materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)678-680
Number of pages3
Issue number6584
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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