Knitted graphene-nanoribbon sheet: a mechanically robust structure

N Wei and ZY Fan and LQ Xu and YP Zheng and HQ Wang and JC Zheng, NANOSCALE, 4, 785-791 (2012).

DOI: 10.1039/c1nr11200g

In this paper, a new nanostructure is proposed, namely, the knitted graphene-nanoribbon sheet (KGS), which consists of zigzag and/or armchair graphene nanoribbons. The knitting technology is introduced to graphene nanotechnology to produce large area graphene sheets. Compared with pristine graphene, the chirality of a knitted graphene-nanoribbon sheet is much more flexible and can be designed on demand. The mechanical properties of KGSs are investigated by molecular dynamics simulations, including the effect of vacancies. With hydrogen atoms saturating the ribbon edges, the structure (KGS + H) is found to be of significant mechanical robustness, whose fracture does not rely on the critical bonds. The fracture strain of KGS + H remains nearly unchanged as long as there remains a single defect-free graphene nanoribbon in the tensile direction. This graphene nano knitting technique is experimentally feasible, inspired by a recent demonstration by Fournier et al. Phys. Rev. B, 2011, 84, 035435 of lifting a single molecular wire using a combined frequency-modulated atomic force and tunnelling microscope.

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