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Issue 21, 2016

Designing molecular structure to achieve ductile fracture behavior in a stiff and strong 2D polymer, “graphylene”

Author affiliations

Abstract

As the simplest two-dimensional (2D) polymer, graphene has immensely high intrinsic strength and elastic stiffness but has limited toughness due to brittle fracture. We use atomistic simulations to explore a new class of graphene/polyethylene hybrid 2D polymer, “graphylene”, that exhibits ductile fracture mechanisms and has a higher fracture toughness and flaw tolerance than graphene. A specific configuration of this 2D polymer hybrid, denoted “GrE-2” for the two-carbon-long ethylene chains connecting benzene rings in the inherent framework, is prioritized for study. MD simulations of crack propagation show that the energy release rate to propagate a crack in GrE-2 is twice that of graphene. We also demonstrate that GrE-2 exhibits delocalized failure and other energy-dissipating fracture mechanisms such as crack branching and bridging. These results demonstrate that 2D polymers can be uniquely tailored to achieve a balance of fracture toughness with mechanical stiffness and strength.

Graphical abstract: Designing molecular structure to achieve ductile fracture behavior in a stiff and strong 2D polymer, “graphylene”

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
04 Nov 2015
Accepted
15 Jan 2016
First published
18 Jan 2016

Nanoscale, 2016,8, 10947-10955
Article type
Paper
Author version available

Designing molecular structure to achieve ductile fracture behavior in a stiff and strong 2D polymer, “graphylene”

E. Sandoz-Rosado, T. D. Beaudet, R. Balu and E. D. Wetzel, Nanoscale, 2016, 8, 10947 DOI: 10.1039/C5NR07742G

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