Crumpling deformation regimes of monolayer graphene on substrate: a molecular mechanics study

T Al-Mulla and Z Qin and MJ Buehler, JOURNAL OF PHYSICS-CONDENSED MATTER, 27, 345401 (2015).

DOI: 10.1088/0953-8984/27/34/345401

Experiments and simulations demonstrating reversible and repeatable crumpling of graphene warrant a detailed understanding of the underlying mechanisms of graphene crumple formation, especially for design of tailored nanostructures. To systematically study the formation of crumples in graphene, we use a simple molecular dynamics model, and perform a series of simulations to characterize the finite number of deformation regimes of graphene on substrate after compression. We formulate a quantitative measure of predicting these deformations based on observed results of the simulations and distinguish graphene crumpling considered in this study from others. In our study, graphene is placed on a model substrate while controlling and varying the interfacial energy between graphene and substrate and the substrate roughness through a set of particles embedded in the substrate. We find that a critical value of interfacial adhesion energy marks a transition point that separates two deformation regimes of graphene on substrate under uniaxial compression. The interface between graphene and substrate plays a major role in the formation of crumples, and we show that the choice of substrate can help in designing desired topologies in graphene.

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