Direct observation of resistive heating at graphene wrinkles and grain boundaries

Kyle L. Grosse, Vincent E. Dorgan, David Estrada, Joshua D. Wood, Ivan Vlassiouk, Gyula Eres, Joseph W. Lyding, William P. King, Eric Pop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We directly measure the nanometer-scale temperature rise at wrinkles and grain boundaries (GBs) in functioning graphene devices by scanning Joule expansion microscopy with ∼50 nm spatial and ∼0.2 K temperature resolution. We observe a small temperature increase at select wrinkles and a large (∼100 K) temperature increase at GBs between coalesced hexagonal grains. Comparisons of measurements with device simulations estimate the GB resistivity (8-150 Ω μm) among the lowest reported for graphene grown by chemical vapor deposition. An analytical model is developed, showing that GBs can experience highly localized resistive heating and temperature rise, most likely affecting the reliability of graphene devices. Our studies provide an unprecedented view of thermal effects surrounding nanoscale defects in nanomaterials such as graphene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number143109
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number14
StatePublished - Oct 6 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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