Probing the mechanical properties of graphene using a corrugated elastic substrate

Scott Scharfenberg, D. Z. Rocklin, Cesar Chialvo, Richard L. Weaver, Paul M. Goldbart, Nadya Mason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examine the mechanical properties of graphene samples of thicknesses ranging from 1 to 17 atomic layers, placed on a microscale-corrugated elastic substrate. Using atomic force microscopy, we show that the graphene adheres to the substrate surface and can substantially deform the substrate, with larger graphene thicknesses creating greater deformations. We use linear elasticity theory to model the deformations of the composite graphene-substrate system. We compare experiment and theory, and thereby extract information about graphene's bending rigidity, adhesion, critical stress for interlayer sliding, and sample-dependent tension.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number091908
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - Feb 28 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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