Strength criterion of graphene GBs combining discrete bond strength and varied bond stretch

GQ Zhang and HC Liu and Y Chen and HS Qin and YL Liu, JOURNAL OF THE MECHANICS AND PHYSICS OF SOLIDS, 169, 105080 (2022).

DOI: 10.1016/j.jmps.2022.105080

The strength criterion of graphene grain boundaries (GBs) under complex stress states plays an important role in guiding the design of high- performance graphene-related materials and devices under severe mechanical environments like ultrastrong structural materials or flexible electronics. However, finding a unified strength criterion that can adapt to different GB angles and loading states is still a challenge. In this work, we proposed a general method to construct the strength criterion of graphene GBs that includes the atomic details of defect. Firstly, systematic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were carried out to explore the fracture behaviors of graphene GBs with different GB angles and loading states. Then, bond strength of heptagon ring sigma thR was ob-tained by projecting the applied stress field to the fractured bond direction, which gives the same value for the same type of C-C bond of same GB angle under different loading states. Besides, to further unify the bond strength of different GB angles, the residual stress caused by other pen-tagon-heptagon defects was considered by using the disclination dipole theory, in which the intrinsic bond strength sigma th0 for different GB angles collapses to the same value. With this scenario, the strength criterion of graphene GBs is presented as the bond stretch stress generated by external load exceeds any bond strength of the hexagon-heptagon defect. Furthermore, a unified bond strength is found, linearly decreasing with the equilibrium bond length, which can further be applied to the strength criterion of other defective structures like two types of SW defects (without analytical solution of residual stress) and even pristine graphene. The present results provide a comprehensive understanding of the failure of graphene by considering the balance of bond strength of defective structure and bond stretch stress generated by external load, which may pave the way to construct the atomic structure based strength criterion of other two-dimensional materials.

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