Atomistic and continuum modelling of stress field at an inhomogeneity in graphene

MAN Dewapriya and RKND Rajapakse, MATERIALS & DESIGN, 160, 718-730 (2018).

DOI: 10.1016/j.matdes.2018.10.006

The influence of an atomic inhomogeneity on the resulting stress field of a nanoscopic matrix material can be remarkably different from the corresponding continuum descriptions due to the significance of surface energy and the discrete nature of matter at the nanoscale. In this work, we conducted a comprehensive molecular dynamics study to investigate the stress field at an atomic inhomogeneity, in the form of an elliptical hole or a circular hexagonal boron-nitride inclusion, in graphene. The results show that stress concentration factor at an inhomogeneity is higher than the corresponding classical continuum solution. We estimated the surface elastic constants for a modified continuum framework using the molecular dynamics results. Comparison between the atomic simulations and the modified continuum model reveals the limitations of such continuum-based models for the two-dimensional materials. Molecular dynamics results imply that the underlying atomic structure softens the effect of inhomogeneity compared to a continuum description thus causing an amplification of the stress filed. The molecular dynamics and modified continuum solutions for stress concentration are presented in simplified forms and design charts to facilitate preliminary design of graphene-based hybrid materials. (C) 2018 Elsevier Ltd.

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