Elastic Modulus of Faceted Aluminum Nitride Nanotubes Measured by Contact Resonance Atomic Force Microscopy
Gheorghe Stan, C Ciobanu, Timothy Thayer, George Wang, Randall Creighton, Premsagar P. Kavuri, Leonid A. Bendersky, Robert F. Cook
A new methodology for determining the radial elastic modulus of a one-dimensional nanostructure laid on a substrate has been developed. The methodology consists of the combination of contact resonance atomic force microscopy (AFM) with finite element analysis, and we illustrate it for the case of faceted AlN nanotubes with triangular cross-sections. By making precision measurements of the resonance frequencies of the AFM cantilever-probe first in air and then in contact with the AlN nanotubes, we determine the contact stiffness at different locations on the nanotubes, i.e. on edges, inner surfaces, and outer facets. From the contact stiffness we have extracted the indentation modulus and found that this modulus depends strongly on the apex angle of the nanotube, varying from 250 to 400 GPa for indentation on the edges of the nanotubes investigated.