Pauli repulsion-induced expansion and electromechanical properties of graphene

Hui Wang, Xiaonan Shan, Hong Yuan Chen, Nongjian Tao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Because graphene has nearly zero density of states at the Dirac point, charging it must overcome Pauli repulsion. We show here that this repulsion causes graphene to expand, which is measurable with an optical edge-tracking method despite that graphene is the strongest material. The expansion increases quadratically with applied voltage as predicted by theory and has a coefficient of ∼10-4 per V at 1 V. Graphene has many attractive properties, but it lacks piezoelectricity, which limits its electromechanical applications. The observed Pauli repulsion-induced expansion provides an alternative way to electrically control graphene dimension. It also provides a simple and direct method to measure the elastic properties of graphene and other low dimensional materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-241
Number of pages6
JournalNano Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017


  • Electromechanical properties of graphene
  • Graphene expansion
  • Pauli repulsion
  • Quantum capacitance
  • Young's modulus of graphene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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