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      The Importance of Edge Effects on the Intrinsic Loss Mechanisms of Graphene Nanoresonators

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          Abstract

          We utilize classical molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the intrinsic loss mechanisms of monolayer graphene nanoresonators undergoing flexural oscillations. We find that spurious edge modes of vibration, which arise not due to externally applied stresses but intrinsically due to the different vibrational properties of edge atoms, are the dominant intrinsic loss mechanism that reduces the Q-factors. We additionally find that while hydrogen passivation of the free edges is ineffective in reducing the spurious edge modes, fixing the free edges is critical to removing the spurious edge-induced vibrational states. Our atomistic simulations also show that the Q-factor degrades inversely proportional to temperature; furthermore, we also demonstrate that the intrinsic losses can be reduced significantly across a range of operating temperatures through the application of tensile mechanical strain.

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          Two-Dimensional Gas of Massless Dirac Fermions in Graphene

          Electronic properties of materials are commonly described by quasiparticles that behave as non-relativistic electrons with a finite mass and obey the Schroedinger equation. Here we report a condensed matter system where electron transport is essentially governed by the Dirac equation and charge carriers mimic relativistic particles with zero mass and an effective "speed of light" c* ~10^6m/s. Our studies of graphene - a single atomic layer of carbon - have revealed a variety of unusual phenomena characteristic of two-dimensional (2D) Dirac fermions. In particular, we have observed that a) the integer quantum Hall effect in graphene is anomalous in that it occurs at half-integer filling factors; b) graphene's conductivity never falls below a minimum value corresponding to the conductance quantum e^2/h, even when carrier concentrations tend to zero; c) the cyclotron mass m of massless carriers with energy E in graphene is described by equation E =mc*^2; and d) Shubnikov-de Haas oscillations in graphene exhibit a phase shift of pi due to Berry's phase.
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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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              Electromechanical resonators from graphene sheets.

              Nanoelectromechanical systems were fabricated from single- and multilayer graphene sheets by mechanically exfoliating thin sheets from graphite over trenches in silicon oxide. Vibrations with fundamental resonant frequencies in the megahertz range are actuated either optically or electrically and detected optically by interferometry. We demonstrate room-temperature charge sensitivities down to 8 x 10(-4) electrons per root hertz. The thinnest resonator consists of a single suspended layer of atoms and represents the ultimate limit of two-dimensional nanoelectromechanical systems.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                04 March 2009
                Article
                10.1021/nl802853e
                0903.0833

                http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

                Custom metadata
                15 pages, 5 figures. Accepted for publication in Nano Letters
                cond-mat.mtrl-sci

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