Interplay between nanometer-scale strain variations and externally applied strain in graphene

GJ Verbiest and C Stampfer and SE Huber and M Andersen and K Reuter, PHYSICAL REVIEW B, 93, 195438 (2016).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.93.195438

We present a molecular modeling study analyzing nanometer-scale strain variations in graphene as a function of externally applied tensile strain. We consider two different mechanisms that could underlie nanometer-scale strain variations: static perturbations from lattice imperfections of an underlying substrate and thermal fluctuations. For both cases we observe a decrease in the out-of-plane atomic displacements with increasing strain, which is accompanied by an increase in the in-plane displacements. Reflecting the nonlinear elastic properties of graphene, both trends together yield a nonmonotonic variation of the total displacements with increasing tensile strain. This variation allows us to test the role of nanometer-scale strain variations in limiting the carrier mobility of high-quality graphene samples.

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