Fermi-Pasta-Ulam Physics with Nanomechanical Graphene Resonators: Intrinsic Relaxation and Thermalization from Flexural Mode Coupling

D Midtvedt and A Croy and A Isacsson and ZA Qi and HS Park, PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS, 112, 145503 (2014).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.145503

Thermalization in nonlinear systems is a central concept in statistical mechanics and has been extensively studied theoretically since the seminal work of Fermi, Pasta, and Ulam. Using molecular dynamics and continuum modeling of a ring-down setup, we show that thermalization due to nonlinear mode coupling intrinsically limits the quality factor of nanomechanical graphene drums and turns them into potential test beds for Fermi-Pasta-Ulam physics. We find the thermalization rate Gamma to be independent of radius and scaling as Gamma similar to T* /is an element of(2)(pre), where T* and is an element of(pre) are effective resonator temperature and prestrain.

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