Strain Engineering Modulates Graphene Interlayer Friction by Moire Pattern Evolution

KQ Wang and CY Qu and J Wang and WG Ouyang and M Ma and QS Zheng, ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES, 11, 36169-36176 (2019).

DOI: 10.1021/acsami.9b09259

The sliding friction of a graphene flake atop strained graphene substrates is studied using molecular dynamics simulation. We demonstrate that in this superlubric system, friction can be reduced nonmonotonically by applying strain, which differs from previously reported results on various 2D materials. The critical strain needed for significant reduction in friction decreases drastically when the flake size increases. For a 250 nm flake, a 0.1% biaxial strain could lead to a more than 2-order-of-magnitude reduction. The underlying mechanism is revealed to be the evolution of Moire patterns. The area of the Moire pattern relative to the flake size plays a central role in determining friction in strain engineering and other scenarios of superlubricity as well. This result suggests that strain engineering could be particularly efficient for friction modification with large contacts.

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