Role of defects in the mechanical properties of graphene-copper heterostructures

TT Felix and MR Chavez-Castillo and L Meza-Montes, NANOTECHNOLOGY, 33, 335701 (2022).

DOI: 10.1088/1361-6528/ac6cf9

Through molecular dynamics simulations of tensile tests, the role that vacancies and Stone-Wales defects play in the mechanical properties of sandwich-like heterostructures, composed by graphene and two symmetric copper layers at nanoscale, is studied. The dependence on the armchair and zigzag chiralities of the graphene layer is also investigated. During elastic deformation, defects negatively affect the mechanical response. However, defective systems can show an improvement of the plastic properties. Vacancies have a stronger impact compared to Stone- Wales defects. Elasticity, toughness, and ductility are enhanced along the zigzag chirality, while stiffness is improved along the armchair direction. The Poisson's ratio was calculated for all graphene-copper heterostructures. At a critical strain it becomes negative along the thickness direction, preserving the auxetic property at higher strains. In general, the behavior is governed by the graphene response. Our findings can be useful to understand the strengthening mechanism induced by this two-dimensional material in metals like copper and for the design of similar systems.

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