Failure mechanism of graphene kirigami under nanoindentation

HN Zhang and J Ma and YY Zhang and J Yang, NANOTECHNOLOGY, 33, 375703 (2022).

DOI: 10.1088/1361-6528/ac7655

Though graphene is the strongest material in nature, its intrinsic brittleness hinders its applications where flexibility is the key figure of merits. In this work, we report the enhanced flexibility of graphene under nanoindentation by using kirigami technique. Based on molecular dynamics simulations, we find that graphene kirigami designed at the optimal cut parameter can sustain more than 45% larger out-of-plane deformation than its pristine counterpart while the maximum impact load is reduced by 20% due to the flexible cut edges. This trade-off between flexibility and strength in a graphene kirigami can be overcome by adding a pristine graphene as a supporting substrate. This double-layer structure consisting of one graphene kirigami and one pristine graphene can stand the maximum impact load three times larger than the single- layer graphene kirigami but its maximum indentation depth is merely 8% smaller. Our simulation results provide useful insights into the failure mechanism of the graphene kirigami under nanoindentation and useful guidelines to enhancing the flexibility of graphene for its applications as protection materials.

Return to Publications page