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Nano Lett. 2012 Nov 14;12(11):5470-4. doi: 10.1021/nl301836q. Epub 2012 Oct 15.

In situ observation of electrostatic and thermal manipulation of suspended graphene membranes.

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Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Riverside, California 92521, USA.


Graphene is nature's thinnest elastic membrane, and its morphology has important impacts on its electrical, mechanical, and electromechanical properties. Here we report manipulation of the morphology of suspended graphene via electrostatic and thermal control. By measuring the out-of-plane deflection as a function of applied gate voltage and number of layers, we show that graphene adopts a parabolic profile at large gate voltages with inhomogeneous distribution of charge density and strain. Unclamped graphene sheets slide into the trench under tension; for doubly clamped devices, the results are well-accounted for by membrane deflection with effective Young's modulus E = 1.1 TPa. Upon cooling to 100 K, we observe buckling-induced ripples in the central portion and large upward buckling of the free edges, which arises from graphene's large negative thermal expansion coefficient.


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