Softened elastic response and unzipping in chemical vapor deposition graphene membranes

Carlos S. Ruiz-Vargas, Houlong L. Zhuang, Pinshane Y. Huang, Arend M. Van Der Zande, Shivank Garg, Paul L. McEuen, David A. Muller, Richard G. Hennig, Jiwoong Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

333 Scopus citations


We use atomic force microscopy to image grain boundaries and ripples in graphene membranes obtained by chemical vapor deposition. Nanoindentation measurements reveal that out-of-plane ripples effectively soften graphene's in-plane stiffness. Furthermore, grain boundaries significantly decrease the breaking strength of these membranes. Molecular dynamics simulations reveal that grain boundaries are especially weakening when subnanometer voids are present in the lattice. Finally, we demonstrate that two graphene membranes brought together form membranes with higher resistance to breaking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2259-2263
Number of pages5
JournalNano Letters
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 8 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • AFM
  • CVD
  • Graphene
  • grain boundaries
  • membranes
  • molecular dynamics simulations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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