Direct nanomechanical measurements of boron nitride nanotube-ceramic interfaces.

Author(s) Yi, C.; Bagchi, S.; Gou, F.; Dmuchowski, C.M.; Park, C.; Fay, C.C.; Chew, H.Beng; Ke, C.
Journal Nanotechnology
Date Published 2019 Jan 11

Boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) are a unique class of light and strong tubular nanostructure and are highly promising as reinforcing additives in ceramic materials. However, the mechanical strength of BNNT-ceramic interfaces remains largely unexplored. Here we report the first direct measurement of the interfacial strength by pulling out individual BNNTs from silica (silicon dioxide) matrices using in situ electron microscopy techniques. Our nanomechanical measurements show that the average interfacial shear stress reaches about 34.7 MPa, while density functional theory calculations reveal strong bonded interactions between BN and silica lattices with a binding energy of -6.98 eV nm. Despite this strong BNNT-silica binding, nanotube pull-out remains the dominant failure mode without noticeable silica matrix residues on the pulled-out tube surface. The fracture toughness of BNNT-silica ceramic matrix nanocomposite is evaluated based on the measured interfacial strength property, and substantial fracture toughness enhancements are demonstrated at small filler concentrations.

DOI 10.1088/1361-6528/aae874
ISSN 1361-6528
Citation Yi C, Bagchi S, Gou F, Dmuchowski CM, Park C, Fay CC, et al. Direct nanomechanical measurements of boron nitride nanotube-ceramic interfaces. Nanotechnology. 2019;30(2):025706.

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