Unusually high flexibility of graphene-Cu nanolayered composites under bending

YX Zhao and XY Liu and J Zhu and SN Luo, PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 21, 17393-17399 (2019).

DOI: 10.1039/c9cp02980j

The mechanical properties of graphene-Cu nanolayered (GCuNL) composites under bend loading are investigated via an energy-based analytical model and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. For an anisotropic material, if it has a weak strength in a certain direction, improving the mechanical properties along this direction is normally difficult for its composites. Here, we find that the flexibility of GCuNL composites can be improved considerably by graphene interfaces, despite graphene's small bending stiffness. The graphene interfaces can delocalize slip bands in the inner Cu layers of GCuNL composites, and impede local nucleation of dislocations, thus greatly increasing the yield and failure bend angles. As the thickness decreases, the flexibility of GCuNL nanofilms increases. However, the GCuNL nanofilms are thermodynamically unstable due to interface instability when the repeat layer spacing is less than 2 nm. The energy-based analytical model for large deformation can accurately characterize the bending response of GCuNL nanofilms.

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