A Model of Folding and Tearing in Free-Standing Graphene

M.J.B. Moura, M. Marder
University of Texas at Austin, US

Keywords: graphene, molecular dynamics, fracture

Summary:

In some experimental setups free-standing graphene samples show cracks and holes, and sometimes the samples even break. Here we present a numerical study of the propagation of cracks in clamped, free-standing graphene as a function of the out-of-plane force. The simulation uses molecular dynamics and the MEAM semi-empirical potential. We also obtain an analytical expression for the the minimum force required to tear a two dimensional sheet, such as graphene, in terms of the initial crack length. This analytical expression offers insight into the tearing of graphene, and suggests the order of magnitude for the forces to be used or avoided in experiments.