Strain Engineering in Monolayer Materials Using Patterned Adatom Adsorption

Y Li and KAN Duerloo and EJ Reed, NANO LETTERS, 14, 4299-4305 (2014).

DOI: 10.1021/nl500974t

We utilize reactive empirical bond order (REBO)-based interatomic potentials to explore the potential for the engineering of strain in monolayer materials using lithographically or otherwise patterned adatom adsorption. In the context of graphene, we discover that the monolayer strain results from a competition between the in-plane elasticity and out-of-plane relaxation deformations. For hydrogen adatoms on graphene, the strain outside the adsorption region vanishes due to out-of-plane relaxation deformations. Under some circumstances, an annular adsorption pattern generates homogeneous tensile strains of approximately 2% in graphene inside the adsorption region, approximately 30% of the strain in the adsorbed region. We find that an elliptical adsorption pattern produces strains of as large as 5%, close to the strain in the adsorbed region. Also, nonzero maximum shear strain (similar to 4%) can be introduced by the elliptical adsorption pattern. We find that an elastic plane stress model provides qualitative guidance for strain magnitudes and conditions under which strain-diminishing buckling can be avoided. We identify geometric conditions under which this effect has potential to be scaled to larger areas. Our results elucidate a method for strain engineering at the nanoscale in monolayer devices.

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