A universal law for the pattern evolution of fullerene-based sandwiches

YX Xue and JW Jiang and HS Park, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SOLIDS AND STRUCTURES, 281, 112419 (2023).

DOI: 10.1016/j.ijsolstr.2023.112419

Fullerene-based sandwiches have excellent controllable physical properties such as cross-plane thermal con-ductivity and charge transfer, which provide new possibilities for advancing the field of thermoelectricity. Because the pattern of the fullerene cluster impacts the physical properties of the sandwiches, it is important to understand the mechanisms for their structural transformations. In the present work, we find that the graphene/fullerene/graphene sandwich structure transforms among three configurations in an ideal environ-ment, depending on the fullerene to graphene area ratio. Molecular dynamics simulations show that there are two critical values for the area ratio. The fullerene pattern transforms from circular to rectangular at the first critical area ratio of 1. The critical value of 1 is successfully derived by comparing the geometrical ������ ������ perimeter of the circular and rectangular shapes for the fullerene cluster without any physical parameters. At the second critical area ratio, the graphene layers surrounding the fullerene cluster become separated due to the competition between the bending energy and the cohesive energy. The vacuum space is predicted to be 34 & ANGS; based on the analytic model. These findings provide fundamental insights into the mechanisms driving structural transformation of fullerene-based sandwiches, which will enable the selection of appropriate structures and materials to guide the design of future electronic and energy storage applications.

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