Graphene-based pressure nano-sensors

V Sorkin and YW Zhang, JOURNAL OF MOLECULAR MODELING, 17, 2825-2830 (2011).

DOI: 10.1007/s00894-011-0972-0

We perform atomistic simulations to study the failure behavior of graphene-based pressure sensor, which is made of a graphene nanoflake suspended over a well in a silicon-carbide substrate and clamped on its surrounding edge by the covalent bonds between the graphene flake and the substrate. Two distinct types of mechanical failure are identified: the first one is characterized by complete detachment of the graphene nanoflake from the silicon-carbide substrate via breaking the covalent bonds between the carbon atoms of the graphene flake and the silicon atoms of the substrate; the second type is characterized by the rupture of the graphene nanoflake via breaking the carbon-carbon bonds within the graphene. The type of mechanical failure is determined by the clamped area between the graphene flake and the substrate. The failure pressure can be tuned by changing the clamped area and the well radius. A model is proposed to explain the transition between the two types of failure mode. The present work provides a quantitative framework for the design of graphene-based pressure sensors.

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