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Nanofracture in graphene under complex mechanical stresses

Nanoscale fracture of graphene under coupled in-plane opening and shear
mechanical loading is investigated by extensive molecular dynamics
simulations. Under opening-dominant loading, zigzag edge cracks grow
self-similarly. Otherwise, complex stresses concentrated around
crack-tip can manipulate the direction of crack initiation changing by
30° (or multiples of 30°). Toughness determined by obtained critical
stress intensity factors 2.63–3.38 nN Å−3/2
demonstrates that graphene is intrinsically brittle opposite to its
exceptional high strength at room temperature. Torn zigzag edges are
more energetically and kinetically favorable. Cracking of graphene has
dependences on local stresses, edge energy, and dynamic effects, which
provides a possible way to regulate graphene edges.


PDF icon ApplPhysLett_101_121915.pdf3.54 MB
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