Research Papers

Cohesive Zone Model for the Interface of Multiwalled Carbon Nanotubes and Copper: Molecular Dynamics Simulation

[+] Author and Article Information
Ibrahim Awad

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Connecticut,
191 Auditorium Road, Unit 3139,
Storrs, CT 06269
e-mail: ibrahim.awad@uconn.edu

Leila Ladani

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Connecticut,
191 Auditorium Road, Unit 3139,
Storrs, CT 06269
e-mail: lladani@engr.uconn.edu

Manuscript received August 22, 2014; final manuscript received December 19, 2014; published online January 20, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Abraham Wang.

J. Nanotechnol. Eng. Med 5(3), 031007 (Aug 01, 2014) (7 pages) Paper No: NANO-14-1056; doi: 10.1115/1.4029462 History: Received August 22, 2014; Revised December 19, 2014; Online January 20, 2015

Due to their superior mechanical and electrical properties, multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) have the potential to be used in many nano-/micro-electronic applications, e.g., through silicon vias (TSVs), interconnects, transistors, etc. In particular, use of MWCNT bundles inside annular cylinders of copper (Cu) as TSV is proposed in this study. However, the significant difference in scale makes it difficult to evaluate the interfacial mechanical integrity. Cohesive zone models (CZM) are typically used at large scale to determine the mechanical adherence at the interface. However, at molecular level, no routine technique is available. Molecular dynamic (MD) simulations is used to determine the stresses that are required to separate MWCNTs from a copper slab and generate normal stress–displacement curves for CZM. Only van der Waals (vdW) interaction is considered for MWCNT/Cu interface. A displacement controlled loading was applied in a direction perpendicular to MWCNT's axis in different cases with different number of walls and at different temperatures and CZM is obtained for each case. Furthermore, their effect on the CZM key parameters (normal cohesive strength (σmax) and the corresponding displacement (δn) has been studied. By increasing the number of the walls of the MWCNT, σmax was found to nonlinearly decrease. Displacement at maximum stress, δn, showed a nonlinear decrease as well with increasing the number of walls. Temperature effect on the stress–displacement curves was studied. When temperature was increased beyond 1 K, no relationship was found between the maximum normal stress and temperature. Likewise, the displacement at maximum load did not show any dependency to temperature.

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Fig. 1

Schematic of the simulation: (a) cylindrical TSV; (b) top view of the interface; and (c) a sample of the MDs structure used in our study

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Fig. 2

(a) Simulation of MWCNT and (b) simulation stages of four-wall MWCNT

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Fig. 3

Number of walls effect

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Fig. 4

Squeezing of five-wall MWCNT

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Fig. 5

Normal cohesive strength—number of walls curve

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Fig. 6

δn-number of walls

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Fig. 7

Temperature effect on CZM

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Fig. 8

Temperature effect on σmax

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Fig. 9

Temperature effect on δn



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