Ultrahigh torsional stiffness and strength of boron nitride nanotubes

Jonathan Garel, Itai Leven, Chunyi Zhi, K. S. Nagapriya, Ronit Popovitz-Biro, Dmitri Golberg, Yoshio Bando, Oded Hod, Ernesto Joselevich*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report the experimental and theoretical study of boron nitride nanotube (BNNT) torsional mechanics. We show that BNNTs exhibit a much stronger mechanical interlayer coupling than carbon nanotubes (CNTs). This feature makes BNNTs up to 1 order of magnitude stiffer and stronger than CNTs. We attribute this interlayer locking to the faceted nature of BNNTs, arising from the polarity of the B-N bond. This property makes BNNTs superior candidates to replace CNTs in nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS), fibers, and nanocomposites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6347-6352
Number of pages6
JournalNano Letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - 12 Dec 2012


  • Nanotube
  • atomic force microscopy (AFM)
  • boron nitride (BN)
  • faceting
  • nanomechanics
  • torsion


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