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Apparent Softening of Wet Graphene Membranes on a Microfluidic Platform.

Authors
  • Ferrari, Gustavo A1, 2
  • de Oliveira, Alan B3
  • Silvestre, Ive4
  • Matos, Matheus J S3
  • Batista, Ronaldo J C3
  • Fernandes, Thales F D1
  • Meireles, Leonel M1
  • Eliel, Gomes S N1
  • Chacham, Helio1
  • Neves, Bernardo R A1
  • Lacerda, Rodrigo G1
  • 1 Departamento de Física , Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais , Belo Horizonte , Minas Gerais 30123-970 , Brazil. , (Brazil)
  • 2 Campus Ouro Preto , Instituto Federal de Minas Gerais , Ouro Preto , MG 35400-000 , Brazil. , (Brazil)
  • 3 Departamento de Física , Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto , Ouro Preto , Minas Gerais 35400-000 , Brazil. , (Brazil)
  • 4 Departamento de Física e Matemática , Centro Federal de Educação Tecnológica de Minas Gerais , Belo Horizonte , Minas Gerais 30421-169 , Brazil. , (Brazil)
Type
Published Article
Journal
ACS Nano
Publisher
American Chemical Society
Publication Date
May 22, 2018
Volume
12
Issue
5
Pages
4312–4320
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.7b08841
PMID: 29694776
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Graphene is regarded as the toughest two-dimensional material (highest in-plane elastic properties) and, as a consequence, it has been employed/proposed as an ultrathin membrane in a myriad of microfluidic devices. Yet, an experimental investigation of eventual variations on the apparent elastic properties of a suspended graphene membrane in contact with air or water is still missing. In this work, the mechanical response of suspended monolayer graphene membranes on a microfluidic platform is investigated via scanning probe microscopy experiments. A high elastic modulus is measured for the membrane when the platform is filled with air, as expected. However, a significant apparent softening of graphene is observed when water fills the microfluidic system. Through molecular dynamics simulations and a phenomenological model, we associate such softening to a water-induced uncrumpling process of the suspended graphene membrane. This result may bring substantial modifications on the design and operation of microfluidic devices which exploit pressure application on graphene membranes.

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