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Phys Rev Lett. 2013 Aug 30;111(9):095501. Epub 2013 Aug 27.

Extended interplanar linking in graphite formed from vacancy aggregates.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH, United Kingdom.


The mechanical and electrical properties of graphite and related materials such as multilayer graphene depend strongly on the presence of defects in the lattice structure, particularly those which create links between adjacent planes. We present findings which suggest the existence of a new type of defect in the graphite or graphene structure which connects adjacent planes through continuous hexagonal sp2 bonding alone and can form through the aggregation of individual vacancy defects. The energetics and kinetics of the formation of this type of defect are investigated with atomistic density functional theory calculations. The resultant structures are then employed to simulate high resolution transmission electron microscopy images, which are compared to recent experimental images of electron irradiation damaged graphite.

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