Energy absorption ability of buckyball C720 at low impact speed: A numerical study based on molecular dynamics

Jun XU, Yibing LI, Yong XIANG*, Xi CHEN

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The dynamic impact response of giant buckyball C720 is investigated by using molecular dynamics simulations. The non-recoverable deformation of C720 makes it an ideal candidate for high-performance energy absorption. Firstly, mechanical behaviors under dynamic impact and low-speed crushing are simulated and modeled, which clarifies the buckling-related energy absorption mechanism. One-dimensional C720 arrays (both vertical and horizontal alignments) are studied at various impact speeds, which show that the energy absorption ability is dominated by the impact energy per buckyball and less sensitive to the number and arrangement direction of buckyballs. Three-dimensional stacking of buckyballs in simple cubic, body-centered cubic, hexagonal, and face-centered cubic forms are investigated. Stacking form with higher occupation density yields higher energy absorption. The present study may shed lights on employing C720 assembly as an advanced energy absorption system against low-speed impacts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number54
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalNanoscale Research Letters
Issue number1
Early online date29 Jan 2013
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

The work is supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (11172231 and 11102099), DARPA (W91CRB-11-C-0112), National Science Foundation (CMMI-0643726), International joint research project sponsored by Tsinghua University (20121080050), Individual-research founding State Key Laboratory of Automotive Safety and Energy, Tsinghua University (ZZ2011-112), and World Class University program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (R32-2008-000-20042-0).


  • Buckling
  • Buckyball
  • Energy absorption
  • Impact


Dive into the research topics of 'Energy absorption ability of buckyball C720 at low impact speed: A numerical study based on molecular dynamics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this