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      Graphene as a model system for 2D fracture behavior of perfect and defective solids

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          Abstract

          A 2D bond-breaking model is presented that allows the extraction of the intrinsic line or edge energy, fracture toughness, and strain energy release rate of graphene from measured and calculated 2D Young’s moduli and 2D pristine strengths. The ideal fracture stress of perfect graphene is compared with the critical fracture stresses of defective graphene sheets containing different types of imperfections. This includes (multiple) vacancies in the subnanometer range, grain boundaries, slits in the nanometer region, and artificial pre-cracks with sizes of 30 nm to 1 μm. Independent of the type of defect, a common dependence of the critical fracture strength on the square root of half defect size is observed. Furthermore, the results suggest the applicability of the Griffith relation at length scales of several nanometers. This observation is not consistent with simulations pointing to the existence of a flaw tolerance for defects with nanometer size. According to simulations for quasi-static growth of pre-existing cracks, the atomic mechanism may also consist of an alternating sequence of bond-breaking and bond-rotation steps with a straight extension of the crack path. Independent of the exact atomic failure mechanism brittle fracture of graphene is generally assumed at low temperatures.

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          Measurement of the elastic properties and intrinsic strength of monolayer graphene.

          We measured the elastic properties and intrinsic breaking strength of free-standing monolayer graphene membranes by nanoindentation in an atomic force microscope. The force-displacement behavior is interpreted within a framework of nonlinear elastic stress-strain response, and yields second- and third-order elastic stiffnesses of 340 newtons per meter (N m(-1)) and -690 Nm(-1), respectively. The breaking strength is 42 N m(-1) and represents the intrinsic strength of a defect-free sheet. These quantities correspond to a Young's modulus of E = 1.0 terapascals, third-order elastic stiffness of D = -2.0 terapascals, and intrinsic strength of sigma(int) = 130 gigapascals for bulk graphite. These experiments establish graphene as the strongest material ever measured, and show that atomically perfect nanoscale materials can be mechanically tested to deformations well beyond the linear regime.
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            Materials become insensitive to flaws at nanoscale: lessons from nature.

            Natural materials such as bone, tooth, and nacre are nanocomposites of proteins and minerals with superior strength. Why is the nanometer scale so important to such materials? Can we learn from this to produce superior nanomaterials in the laboratory? These questions motivate the present study where we show that the nanocomposites in nature exhibit a generic mechanical structure in which the nanometer size of mineral particles is selected to ensure optimum strength and maximum tolerance of flaws (robustness). We further show that the widely used engineering concept of stress concentration at flaws is no longer valid for nanomaterial design.
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              Graphite and Hexagonal Boron-Nitride Possess the Same Interlayer Distance. Why?

               Oded Hod (2011)
              Graphite and hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) are two prominent members of the family of layered materials possessing a hexagonal lattice. While graphite has non-polar homo-nuclear C-C intra-layer bonds, h-BN presents highly polar B-N bonds resulting in different optimal stacking modes of the two materials in bulk form. Furthermore, the static polarizabilities of the constituent atoms considerably differ from each other suggesting large differences in the dispersive component of the interlayer bonding. Despite these major differences both materials present practically identical interlayer distances. To understand this finding, a comparative study of the nature of the interlayer bonding in both materials is presented. A full lattice sum of the interactions between the partially charged atomic centers in h-BN results in vanishingly small monopolar electrostatic contributions to the interlayer binding energy. Higher order electrostatic multipoles, exchange, and short-range correlation contributions are found to be very similar in both materials and to almost completely cancel out by the Pauli repulsions at physically relevant interlayer distances resulting in a marginal effective contribution to the interlayer binding. Further analysis of the dispersive energy term reveals that despite the large differences in the individual atomic polarizabilities the hetero-atomic B-N C6 coefficient is very similar to the homo-atomic C-C coefficient in the hexagonal bulk form resulting in very similar dispersive contribution to the interlayer binding. The overall binding energy curves of both materials are thus very similar predicting practically the same interlayer distance and very similar binding energies.
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                Author and article information

                Affiliations
                [1 ] University of Heidelberg,Germany
                Journal
                Frattura ed Integrità Strutturale
                Gruppo Italiano Frattura
                01 October 2015
                : 9
                : 34
                : 341-346
                390e79d279c342f9aa443193cd6a7889

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

                Categories
                Technology
                T
                Electrical engineering. Electronics. Nuclear engineering
                TK1-9971
                Materials of engineering and construction. Mechanics of materials
                TA401-492

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