The mechanical characterization of stacked, multilayer graphene cantilevers and plates
The mechanical properties of stacked graphene sheets with varying number of layers are examined. The stacked sheets are assembled by manually combining single layer CVD-grown graphene monolayers, resulting in a turbostratic multilayer graphene with irregular layer spacing greater than crystalline graphite. Due to the presence of multiple layers, the material is analyzed as a plate rather than a membrane. Bending stiffness is determined via the deflection of micron-scale cantilevers, prepared using focused ion beam milling, while in-plane tensile stiffness is characterized through center-loading of edge-supported circular specimens. Computational modeling and established analytical solutions are used to extract material and structural property information, and benchmark measured properties relative to complementary results from indentation tests. Stacked, few-layer CVD-grown graphene retains an in-plane elastic modulus of 350N/m/layer (corresponding to 1.04 TPa for an inter-layer spacing of 0.335nm), suggesting good load-sharing between stacked layers. Width-normalized bending stiffness was unmeasurable for cantilevers of 1 and 3 layers, while cantilevers of 5 and 10 layers had values of 11,100nN·nm and 1.3·106nN•nm respectively.