Exploration of mechanical, thermal conductivity and electromechanical properties of graphene nanoribbon springs†
Recent experimental advances [Liu et al., npj 2D Mater. Appl., 2019, 3, 23] propose the design of graphene nanoribbon springs (GNRSs) to substantially enhance the stretchability of pristine graphene. A GNRS is a periodic undulating graphene nanoribbon, where undulations are of sinus or half-circle or horseshoe shapes. Besides this, the GNRS geometry depends on design parameters, like the pitch's length and amplitude, thickness and joining angle. Because of the fact that parametric influence on the resulting physical properties is expensive and complicated to examine experimentally, we explore the mechanical, thermal and electromechanical properties of GNRSs using molecular dynamics simulations. Our results demonstrate that the horseshoe shape design GNRS (GNRH) can distinctly outperform the graphene kirigami design concerning the stretchability. The thermal conductivity of GNRSs was also examined by developing a multiscale modeling, which suggests that the thermal transport along these nanostructures can be effectively tuned. We found that however, the tensile stretching of the GNRS and GNRH does not yield any piezoelectric polarization. The bending induced hybridization change results in a flexoelectric polarization, where the corresponding flexoelectric coefficient is 25% higher than that of graphene. Our results provide a comprehensive vision of the critical physical properties of GNRSs and may help to employ the outstanding physics of graphene to design novel stretchable nanodevices.