An atomistic-based foliation model for multilayer graphene materials and nanotubes

Author (s): Ghosh, S. and Arroyo, M.
Journal: Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids

Volume: 61, Iss. 1
Pages: 235 – 253
Date: 2013

We present a three-dimensional continuum model for layered crystalline materials made out of weakly interacting two-dimensional crystalline sheets. We specialize the model to multilayer graphene materials, including multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs). We view the material as a foliation, partitioning of space into a continuous stack of leaves, thus loosing track of the location of the individual graphene layers. The constitutive model for the bulk is derived from the atomistic interactions by appropriate kinematic assumptions, adapted to the foliation structure and mechanics. In particular, the elastic energy along the leaves of the foliation results from the bonded interactions, while the interaction energy between the walls, resulting from van der Waals forces, is parametrized with a stretch transversal to the foliation.
The resulting theory is distinct from conventional anisotropic models, and can be readily discretized with finite elements. The discretization is not tied to the individual walls and allows us to coarse-grain the system in all directions. Furthermore, the evaluation of the non-bonded interactions becomes local. We test the accuracy of the foliation model against a previously proposed atomistic-based continuum model that explicitly describes each and every wall. We find that the new model is very efficient and accurate.
Furthermore, it allows us to rationalize the rippling deformation modes characteristic of thick MWCNTs, highlighting the role of the van der Waals forces and the sliding between the walls. By exercising the model with very large systems of hollow MWCNTs and suspended multilayer graphene, containing up to 109 atoms, we find new complex post-buckling deformation patterns.



title = {An atomistic-based foliation model for multilayer graphene materials and nanotubes},
journal = {Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids},
volume = {61},
number = {1},
pages = {235 - 253},
year = {2013},
issn = {0022-5096},
doi = {10.1016/j.jmps.2012.07.002},
url = {},
author = {Susanta Ghosh and Marino Arroyo},
keywords = {Multi-walled carbon nanotubes},
keywords = {Graphene},
keywords = {Quasicontinuum},
keywords = {Buckling}