The pull-out force of some outer walls against other inner walls in multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) was systematically studied by molecular mechanics simulations. The obtained results reveal that the pull-out force is proportional to the square of the diameter of the immediate outer wall on the sliding interface, which highlights the primary contribution of the capped section of MWCNT to the pull-out force. A simple empirical formula was proposed based on the numerical results to predict the pull-out force for an arbitrary pull-out in a given MWCNT directly from the diameter of the immediate outer wall on the sliding interface. Moreover, tensile tests for MWCNTs with and without acid-treatment were performed with a nanomanipulator inside a vacuum chamber of a scanning electron microscope (SEM) to validate the present empirical formula. It was found that the theoretical pull-out forces agree with the present and some previous experimental results very well.
- Capped section
- Molecular mechanics simulations
- Multi-walled carbon nanotubes
- Pull-out force
- Sword-in-sheath mode