Atomistic Modelling of Size-Dependent Mechanical Properties and Fracture of Pristine and Defective Cove-Edged Graphene Nanoribbons

DA Damasceno and RKNDN Rajapakse and E Mesquita, NANOMATERIALS, 10, 1422 (2020).

DOI: 10.3390/nano10071422

Cove-edged graphene nanoribbons (CGNR) are a class of nanoribbons with asymmetric edges composed of alternating hexagons and have remarkable electronic properties. Although CGNRs have attractive size-dependent electronic properties their mechanical properties have not been well understood. In practical applications, the mechanical properties such as tensile strength, ductility and fracture toughness play an important role, especially during device fabrication and operation. This work aims to fill a gap in the understanding of the mechanical behaviour of CGNRs by studying the edge and size effects on the mechanical response by using molecular dynamic simulations. Pristine graphene structures are rarely found in applications. Therefore, this study also examines the effects of topological defects on the mechanical behaviour of CGNR. Ductility and fracture patterns of CGNR with divacancy and topological defects are studied. The results reveal that the CGNR become stronger and slightly more ductile as the width increases in contrast to normal zigzag GNR. Furthermore, the mechanical response of defective CGNRs show complex dependency on the defect configuration and distribution, while the direction of the fracture propagation has a complex dependency on the defect configuration and position. The results also confirm the possibility of topological design of graphene to tailor properties through the manipulation of defect types, orientation, and density and defect networks.

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