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Nano Lett. 2008 May;8(5):1399-403. doi: 10.1021/nl080201h. Epub 2008 Apr 11.

Imaging mechanical vibrations in suspended graphene sheets.

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CIN2 Barcelona, Campus UAB, E-08193 Bellaterra, Spain.


We carried out measurements on nanoelectromechanical systems based on multilayer graphene sheets suspended over trenches in silicon oxide. The motion of the suspended sheets was electrostatically driven at resonance using applied radio frequency voltages. The mechanical vibrations were detected using a novel form of scanning probe microscopy, which allowed identification and spatial imaging of the shape of the mechanical eigenmodes. In as many as half the resonators measured, we observed a new class of exotic nanoscale vibration eigenmodes not predicted by the elastic beam theory, where the amplitude of vibration is maximum at the free edges. By modeling the suspended sheets with the finite element method, these edge eigenmodes are shown to be the result of nonuniform stress with remarkably large magnitudes (up to 1.5 GPa). This nonuniform stress, which arises from the way graphene is prepared by pressing or rubbing bulk graphite against another surface, should be taken into account in future studies on electronic and mechanical properties of graphene.

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