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Open Access Nano Express

Snap-Through Instability of Graphene on Substrates

Teng Li12* and Zhao Zhang12

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, 20742, USA

2 Maryland NanoCenter, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, 20742, USA

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2009, 5:169-173  doi:10.1007/s11671-009-9460-1

Published: 17 October 2009

Abstract

We determine the graphene morphology regulated by substrates with herringbone and checkerboard surface corrugations. As the graphene–substrate interfacial bonding energy and the substrate surface roughness vary, the graphene morphology snaps between two distinct states: (1) closely conforming to the substrate and (2) remaining nearly flat on the substrate. Since the graphene morphology is strongly tied to the electronic properties of graphene, such a snap-through instability of graphene morphology can lead to desirable graphene electronic properties that could potentially enable graphene-based functional electronic components (e.g. nano-switches).

Keywords:
Graphene; Nanopatterns; Morphology; Instability; Substrate regulation