Finite element methods for the non-linear mechanics of crystalline sheets and nanotubes

Author (s): Arroyo, M., Belytschko, T.
Journal: International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering

Volume: 59, Issue 3
Pages: 419 – 456
Date: 2004

The formulation and nite element implementation of a finite deformation continuum theory for the mechanics of crystalline sheets is described. This theory generalizes standard crystal elasticity to curved monolayer lattices by means of the exponential Cauchy-Born rule. The constitutive model for a two dimensional continuum deforming in three dimensions (a surface) is written explicitly in terms of the underlying atomistic model. The resulting hyper-elastic potential depends on the stretch and the curvature of the surface, as well as on internal elastic variables describing the rearrangements of the crystal within the unit cell. Coarse grained calculations of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are performed by discretizing this continuum mechanics theory by finite elements. A smooth discrete representation of the surface is required, and subdivision finite elements, proposed for thin-shell analysis, are used. A detailed set of numerical experiments, in which the continuum/finite element solutions are compared to the corresponding full atomistic calculations of CNTs, involving very large deformations and geometric instabilities, demonstrates the accuracy of the proposed approach. Simulations for large multi-million systems illustrate the computational savings which can be achieved.



@article {NME:NME944,
author = {Arroyo, M. and Belytschko, T.},
title = {Finite element methods for the non-linear mechanics of crystalline sheets and nanotubes},
journal = {International Journal for Numerical Methods in Engineering},
volume = {59},
number = {3},
publisher = {John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.},
issn = {1097-0207},
url = {},
doi = {10.1002/nme.944},
pages = {419--456},
keywords = {carbon nanotubes, continuum surface model, hyperelasticity, finite elements},
year = {2004},