In-plane and out-of-plane tensile behaviour of single-layer graphene sheets: a new interatomic potential


This paper compares simple interatomic potentials for carbon nanostructures with hexagonal lattice, by investigating the in-plane and the out-of-plane tensile behaviour of single-layer graphene sheets. Attention is given both to potentials already considered in the literature and to a new one, which we call the damped DREIDING potential, in which damping functions are added to the DREIDING potential. For each potential, a calibration of its parameters and a focus on its performance are carried out in the in-plane context, by comparison with ab initio results of the rigidities and of the tensile limit properties, under periodic conditions. In addition, the damped DREIDING potential is used to perform in-plane tensile tests on both pristine and perforated single-layer graphene sheets of finite size. In the out-of-plane context, the calibration from ab initio results is only possible with reference to the rigidity. For the damped DREIDING potential, a sensitivity analysis, applied to a nanoindentation problem, on a pristine single-layer graphene sheet of finite size is provided. In doing so, a narrow range of value of the force needed to remove an atom from a sheet is given.

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  1. 1.

    The Stillinger–Weber potential is the only potential in which the inner forces are not directly zero when \(r_{ij} = {\bar{r}}\).

  2. 2.

    The zigzag and armchair test nomenclature is borrowed from the tensile tests on the ribbons: by the term zigzag or armchair we mean the arrangement of the side on which the traction is applied.

  3. 3.

    This constraint is managed by condensation of one of the two variables.


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We are very grateful to the University “Roma Tre” for cofunding the research contract of PhD Alessandra Genoese and to the Italian Ministry of University, Research and Education for cofunding the research contract of PhD Andrea Genoese.

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Genoese, A., Genoese, A. & Salerno, G. In-plane and out-of-plane tensile behaviour of single-layer graphene sheets: a new interatomic potential. Acta Mech 231, 2915–2930 (2020).

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