STM-driven transition from rippled to buckled graphene in a spin-membrane model Articles uri icon

publication date

  • November 2016

issue

  • 20

volume

  • 94

international standard serial number (ISSN)

  • 2469-9950

electronic international standard serial number (EISSN)

  • 2469-9969

abstract

  • We consider a simple spin-membrane model for rippling in graphene. The model exhibits transitions from a flat but rippled membrane to a buckled one. At high temperature the transition is second order, but it is first order at low temperature for appropriate strength of the spin-spin coupling. Driving the system across the first-order phase transition in nonequilibrium conditions that mimic interaction of the graphene membrane with a scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) tip explains recent experiments. In particular, we observe a reversible behavior for small values of the STM current and an irreversible transition from a flat rippled membrane to a rigid buckled membrane when the current surpasses a critical value. This work makes it possible to test the mechanical properties of graphene under different temperature and electrostatic conditions.

keywords

  • Freestanding graphene
    Crystalline order
    Atomic-scale