Controlled ripple texturing of suspended graphene and ultrathin graphite membranes

We report the direct observation and creation of one-dimensional and 2D periodic ripples in suspended graphene sheets, using spontaneously and thermally induced longitudinal strains on patterned substrates, with control over their orientations and wavelengths

Wenzhong Bao; Feng Miao; Zhen Chen; Hang Zhang; Wanyoung Jang; Chris Dames; Chun Ning Lau


Scholarcy highlights

  • Graphene is the nature’s thinnest elastic membrane, with exceptional mechanical and electrical properties
  • As the only known isolated atomic membrane, graphene offers a unique platform for understanding the fundamental mechanical properties of nano-materials, such as its extremely high elastic constants and breaking strength, and the spontaneous formation of ripples in suspended graphene
  • We find that thin film mechanics, developed for continuum materials, continues to describe these atomically thin membranes
  • ~0.5 to 20 μm in width, are suspended across pre-defined trenches on Si/SiO2 substrates. We examine their morphology under a scanning electron microscope or an atomic force microscope
  • Most of the data points fall on the lower solid line, indicating that the ripples are induced by pre-existing longitudinal strains in graphene
  • Our experiment readily enables measurement of the thermal expansion coefficients α(Τ)
  • As an initial demonstration of such studies, we fabricate suspended graphene devices with two electrodes on each side of the trench, allowing measurements of both suspended and substrate-supported portions of the same graphene sheet

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