Does Hooke's law work in helical nanosprings?

Sudong Ben, Junhua Zhao, Timon Rabczuk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Hooke's law is a principle of physics that states that the force needed to extend a spring by some distance is proportional to that distance. The law is always valid for an initial portion of the elastic range for nearly all helical macrosprings. Here we report the sharp nonlinear force-displacement relation of tightly wound helical carbon nanotubes at even small displacement via a molecular mechanics model. We demonstrate that the van der Waals (vdW) interaction between the intertube walls dominates the nonlinear relation based on our analytical expressions. This study provides physical insights into the origin of huge nonlinearity of the helical nanosprings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20990-20997
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics
Issue number32
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Aug 28
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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