Individual as-fabricated, high temperature heat-treated and graphitized/surface oxidized vapor grown carbon nanofibers (VGCNFs), with average diameter of 150 nm were tested for their elastic modulus and their tensile strength by a MEMS-based mechanical testing platform. The elastic modulus increased from 180 GPa for as-fabricated, to 245 GPa for high temperature heat-treated nanofibers. The nominal fiber strengths followed Weibull distributions with characteristic strengths between 2.74 and 3.34 GPa, which correlated well with the expected effects of heat treatment and oxidative post-processing. As-fabricated VGCNFs had small Weibull modulus indicating a broad flaw population, which was condensed upon heat treatment. For all VGCNF grades, the nanofiber fracture surface included the stacked truncated cup structure of the oblique graphene layers comprising its backbone and cleavage of the outer turbostratic or thermally graphitized layer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)