Strain Modulation of Graphene by Nanoscale Substrate Curvatures: A Molecular View

Yingjie Zhang, Mohammad Heiranian, Blanka Janicek, Zoe Budrikis, Stefano Zapperi, Pinshane Y. Huang, Harley T. Johnson, Narayana R. Aluru, Joseph W. Lyding, Nadya Mason*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Spatially nonuniform strain is important for engineering the pseudomagnetic field and band structure of graphene. Despite the wide interest in strain engineering, there is still a lack of control on device-compatible strain patterns due to the limited understanding of the structure-strain relationship. Here, we study the effect of substrate corrugation and curvature on the strain profiles of graphene via combined experimental and theoretical studies of a model system: graphene on closely packed SiO2 nanospheres with different diameters (20-200 nm). Experimentally, via quantitative Raman analysis, we observe partial adhesion and wrinkle features and find that smaller nanospheres induce larger tensile strain in graphene; theoretically, molecular dynamics simulations confirm the same microscopic structure and size dependence of strain and reveal that a larger strain is caused by a stronger, inhomogeneous interaction force between smaller nanospheres and graphene. This molecular-level understanding of the strain mechanism is important for strain engineering of graphene and other two-dimensional materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2098-2104
Number of pages7
JournalNano Letters
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Strain Modulation of Graphene by Nanoscale Substrate Curvatures: A Molecular View'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Zhang, Y., Heiranian, M., Janicek, B., Budrikis, Z., Zapperi, S., Huang, P. Y., Johnson, H. T., Aluru, N. R., Lyding, J. W., & Mason, N. (2018). Strain Modulation of Graphene by Nanoscale Substrate Curvatures: A Molecular View. Nano Letters, 18(3), 2098-2104.