Ripping Graphene: Preferred Directions
This is a joint paper where we work together with experimentalists to explain unusual observation of tears in graphene going almost exclusively in the zigzag or armchair directions of the crystal lattice (Fig. 1), using fracture theory and molecular dynamics simulations (Fig. 2).
Fig. 1. A crack in graphene as seen in a transmission electron microscope and the distribution of cracks by orientation with respect to lattice (zigzag is blue and armchair is red in the left panel).
Fig. 2. Snapshots from MD simulations showing straight crack propagation in the armchair and zigzag orientation and crack redirection when started at an intermediate orientation with respect to the lattice.
A couple of videos from MD simulations: