Graphene: The more you bend it, the softer it gets

Graphene: The more you bend it, the softer it gets

by Stephanie Adams, Phys.org

New research by engineers at the University of Illinois combines atomic-scale experimentation with computer modeling to determine how much energy it takes to bend multilayer graphene—a question that has eluded scientists since graphene was first isolated. The findings are reported in the journal Nature Materials.

Graphene—a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a lattice—is the strongest material in the world and so thin that it is flexible, the researchers said. It is considered one of the key ingredients of future technologies.

Most of the current research on graphene targets the development of nanoscale electronic devices. Yet, researchers say that many technologies—from stretchable electronics to tiny robots so small that they cannot be seen with the naked eye—require an understanding of the mechanics of graphene, particularly how it flexes and bends, to unlock their potential.

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