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John O | May 2019

Applying strain to 2-D materials could enable new properties and new applications

By Josh Perry, Editor


Scientists from the University of Belgrade (Serbia) demonstrated that applying tensile biaxial strain to monolayers of lithium-doped graphene increased its critical temperature, which showed the potential for high temperature superconducting under strain.


Liquid Phase Graphene Film Deposited on PET substrate.
(Graphene Laboratory, University of Belgrade)


According to a report from the American Institute of Physics (AIP), the researchers took seven months to apply the Hubbard model to describe the movement of electrons through the material to theorize about how strain impacted electron vibration and transport.


The models showed that strain changed the material properties and opened the door for a new method of tuning these materials to meet specific applications.


Researchers also “tested how two different approaches to strain engineering thin monolayers of graphene affected the 2D material’s lattice structure and conductivity. For liquid-phase ‘exfoliated’ graphene sheets, the team found that stretching strains pulled apart individual flakes and so increased the resistance, a property that could be used to make sensors, such as touch screens and e-skin, a thin electronic material that mimics the functionalities of human skin.”


The research was recently published in the Journal of Applied Physics. The abstract read:


“The aim of the present paper is to discuss some recent results concerning the behavior of low-dimensional materials under strain. This concerns the electrical conductivity calculations of 1D structures under strain, within the Hubbard model, as well as ab initio investigations of phonon, electron-phonon, and superconducting properties of doped graphene and MgB2 monolayer.


“Two different experimental approaches to strain engineering in graphene have been considered regarding local strain engineering on monolayer flakes of graphene using atomic force microscopy and dynamic plowing lithography technique as well as the effects of mechanical straining on liquid phase exfoliated graphene and change of sheet resistance of graphene films.”

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