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Nanoindentation experiments for single-layer rectangular graphene films: a molecular dynamics study

Weidong Wang1*, Shuai Li1, Jiaojiao Min1, Chenglong Yi1, Yongjie Zhan2 and Minglin Li3

Author Affiliations

1 School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, Xidian University, Xi'an 710071, China

2 Physics Department, Northwest University, Xi'an 710069, China

3 School of Mechanical Engineering and Automation, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou 350108, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:41  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-41

Published: 22 January 2014


A molecular dynamics study on nanoindentation experiments is carried out for some single-layer rectangular graphene films with four edges clamped. Typical load–displacement curves are obtained, and the effects of various factors including indenter radii, loading speeds, and aspect ratios of the graphene film on the simulation results are discussed. A formula describing the relationship between the load and indentation depth is obtained according to the molecular dynamics simulation results. Young’s modulus and the strength of the single-layer graphene film are measured as about 1.0 TPa and 200 GPa, respectively. It is found that the graphene film ruptured in the central point at a critical indentation depth. The deformation mechanisms and dislocation activities are discussed in detail during the loading-unloading-reloading process. It is observed from the simulation results that once the loading speed is larger than the critical loading speed, the maximum force exerted on the graphene film increases and the critical indentation depth decreases with the increase of the loading speed.

Molecular dynamics simulation; Nanoindentation; Rectangular graphene film; Young’s modulus; Strength