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Mechanical properties of silk

A crystalline unit of spider silk made from a stack of beta-sheets is subjected to an external force which induces its rupture. In the most simple scenario which we mimicked in the simulation visualized here, one of the strands, here the central beta-strand, is pulled away from the others along the fiber running direction. Remarkably,…

Stress-induced rupture of a circular graphene sheet

The movies show the rupture of a graphene sheet upon indentation by an atomic force microscope tip. Shown in both cases are a color-coded representation of stress due to indentation. Green represents low levels of background stress due to thermal fluctuations of the graphene atoms; orange represents high stress, delimiting the area in which the bond…