Soliton-like thermophoresis of graphene wrinkles

YF Guo and WL Guo, NANOSCALE, 5, 318-323 (2013).

DOI: 10.1039/c2nr32580b

We studied the thermophoretic motion of wrinkles formed in substrate- supported graphene sheets by nonequilibrium molecular dynamics simulations. We found that a single wrinkle moves along applied temperature gradient with a constant acceleration that is linearly proportional to temperature deviation between the heating and cooling sides of the graphene sheet. Like a solitary wave, the atoms of the single wrinkle drift upwards and downwards, which prompts the wrinkle to move forwards. The driving force for such thermophoretic movement can be mainly attributed to a lower free energy of the wrinkle back root when it is transformed from the front root. We establish a motion equation to describe the soliton-like thermophoresis of a single graphene wrinkle based on the Korteweg-de Vries equation. Similar motions are also observed for wrinkles formed in a Cu-supported graphene sheet. These findings provide an energy conversion mechanism by using graphene wrinkle thermophoresis.

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