Sliding energy landscape governs interfacial failure of nanotube-reinforced ceramic nanocomposites

Ning Li, Christopher M. Dmuchowski, Yingchun Jiang, Chenglin Yi, Feilin Gou, Jia Deng, Changhong Ke, Huck Beng Chew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report the sliding adhesion of hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) and graphene on silica using single nanotube pullout force measurements and potential energy landscape calculations by density functional theory (DFT). In contrast to isotropic sliding of graphene on silica, the sliding of hBN on silica exhibits strong directional dependence with unusually high energy barriers formed by stacking of unterminated Si or O atoms on N atoms. Stronger interfacial adhesion energy and shear strength across possible termination structures of silica with hBN versus graphene cumulate in the measured interfacial shear strength of ∼34.7 MPa versus ∼19.2 MPa for the respective nanotube-reinforced composites

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number114413
JournalScripta Materialia
StatePublished - Mar 15 2022


  • Density functional theory
  • Interfacial shear
  • Silica-2D material interfaces
  • Single-nanotube pullout experiments
  • Sliding energy landscape

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys


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