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Press ReleasePress Release 2010

World’s First Successful Measurement of Strength of Boron Nitride Nanotubes

14 Sep, 2010

This research was conducted by
Xianlong Wei & Dmitri Golberg

The world first nano-tensile tests on individual multi-walled boron nitride nanotubes, only 10-50 nanometers across and several hundred nanometers long, under direct loading and imaging in a transmission electron microscope, were performed; these revealed the ultimate tensile strength of ~33 GPa, a ~15 times increase compared to the highest-strength steel.

figure 1

Figure 1: (Left) Experimental image of an individual multi-walled boron nitride nanotube (BNNT) clamped between an AFM cantilever (left-hand-side contact) and a tungsten nanowire (right-hand-side contact) under a tensile test in the transmission electron microscope. The inset is a high-resolution image of the tube. The arrow shows the direction of the tungsten tip retraction; (Right) A measured true stress-strain curve (data points) of BNNTs corresponding to its ultimate tensile strength of ~33 GPa and the Young’s modulus of ~900 GPa.

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