Bioinspired graphene nanogut

Zhao Qin, Markus J. Buehler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Low-dimensional nanomaterials are attractive for various applications, including damage repair, drug delivery, and bioimaging. The ability to control the morphology of nanomaterials is critical for manufacturing as well as for utilizing them as functional materials or devices. However, the manipulation of such materials remains challenging, and effective methods to control their morphology remain limited. Here, we propose to mimic a macroscopic biological system - the gut - as a means to control the nanoscale morphology by exploiting the concept of mismatch strain. We show that, by mimicking the development of the gut, one can obtain a controlled wavy shape of a combined carbon nanotube and graphene system. We show that the scaling laws that control the formation of the gut at the macroscale are suitable for ultrasmall-diameter carbon nanotubes with a diameter smaller than 7 Å but do not account for the morphology of systems with larger diameter nanotubes. We find that the deviation is caused by cross-sectional buckling of carbon nanotube, where this behavior relates to the different constitutive laws for carbon nanotube and graphene in contrast to the macroscale biological system. Our study illustrates the possibility of downscaling macroscale phenomena to the nanoscale using continuum mechanics theory, with wide-ranging applications in nanotechnology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number061009
JournalJournal of Applied Mechanics, Transactions ASME
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioinspired
  • Buckling
  • Graphene
  • Morphology
  • Nanomechanics
  • Scaling law

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Bioinspired graphene nanogut'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this