Thermal mirror buckling in freestanding graphene locally controlled by scanning tunnelling microscopy

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Articles about this research have appeared in the following sources:
Arkansas Newswire


M. Neek-Amal, P. Xu, J.K. Schoelz, M.L. Ackerman, S.D. Barber, P.M. Thibado, A. Sadeghi, and F.M. Peeters


Knowledge of and control over the curvature of ripples in freestanding graphene are desirable for fabricating and designing flexible electronic devices, and recent progress in these pursuits has been achieved using several advanced techniques such as scanning tunnelling microscopy. The electrostatic forces induced through a bias voltage (or gate voltage) were used to manipulate the interaction of freestanding graphene with a tip (substrate). Such forces can cause large movements and sudden changes in curvature through mirror buckling. Here we explore an alternative mechanism, thermal load, to control the curvature of graphene. We demonstrate thermal mirrro buckling of graphene by scanning tunneleling microscopy and large-scale molecular dynamic simulations. The negative thermal expansion coefficient of graphene is an essential ingredient in explaning the observed effects. This new control mechanism represents a fundamental advance in understanding the influence of temperature gradients on the dynamics of freestanding graphene and future applications with electro-thermal-mechanical nanodevices.