Flipping nanoscale ripples of free-standing graphene using a scanning tunneling microscope tip

Romain Breitwieser, Yu Cheng Hu, Yen Cheng Chao, Ren Jie Li, Yi Ren Tzeng, Lain Jong Li, Sz Chian Liou, Keng Ching Lin, Chih Wei Chen, Woei Wu Pai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


We present a scanning tunneling microscopy study of the stress-strain behavior of a rippled single-layer free-standing graphene (FSG) and report that FSG exhibits a non-linear sigmoidal stress-strain behavior. We managed to pull and push nanoripples by controlling the STM tip-FSG interaction forces. In this way, we found that the initial deformations of a rippled FSG involve sign reversals of the nanoripple's local curvatures, termed "flipping". In contrast to elastic deformation of graphene, flipping of a FSG nanoripple encounters a stress barrier and therefore makes a rippled FSG metastable, as evidenced by monitoring a yielding process in both experiments and molecular dynamics simulations. The evolution of nanoripples subjected to STM control is also fully consistent with atom-resolved images. Our work therefore shows how rippled 2D carbon deforms at nanoscale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-243
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Oct 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
W.W.P. is supported by Grant No. 98-2112-M-002-013-MY3 of NSC , Taiwan. Y.R.T. is supported by the Nuclear Fuels and Materials Division, INER, Taiwan. L.J.L. is supported by IAMS, Academia Sinica. We acknowledge Dr. W.L. Lee and Dr. L.C. Chen for fruitful discussions, and also Dr. C.W. Chang and Dr. M.W. Chu for technical help for SEM and TEM respectively. Y.R.T. thanks Dr. Chia-En Chang for helpful discussions on MD simulations.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science


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