We study the effects of wedge bluntness in mechanically exfoliating graphene layers from highly ordered pyrolytic graphite (HOPG), a layered material. Molecular dynamics simulations show that the layer initiation modes strongly depend on the wedge radius. Force and specific energy signatures are also markedly affected by the radius. Cleaving with a larger wedge radius causes buckling ahead of the wedge; larger the radius more the buckling. A critical depth of insertion of 1.6 A° is seen necessary to cleave a single layer; this is also found to be independent of wedge radius. Hence, with accurate positioning on an atomically flat HOPG surface it is possible to mechanically cleave, using a wedge, a single sheet of graphene even with a blunt wedge.
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Wedge Radius Effects in Mechanical Exfoliation of HOPG: A Molecular Simulation Study
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Jayasena, B, Subbiah, S, & Reddy, CD. "Wedge Radius Effects in Mechanical Exfoliation of HOPG: A Molecular Simulation Study." Proceedings of the ASME 2014 International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference collocated with the JSME 2014 International Conference on Materials and Processing and the 42nd North American Manufacturing Research Conference. Volume 1: Materials; Micro and Nano Technologies; Properties, Applications and Systems; Sustainable Manufacturing. Detroit, Michigan, USA. June 9–13, 2014. V001T03A021. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/MSEC2014-4168
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