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Contrast in nanoscale friction between rotational domains of graphene on Pt(111)

: Chan, N.; Balakrishna, S.G; Klemenz, A.; Moseler, M.; Egberts, P.; Bennewitz, R.


Carbon 113 (2017), pp.132-138
ISSN: 0008-6223
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IWM ()
atomic force microscope (AFM); graphene; platinum; nanotribology; chemical vapor deposition (CVD)

The nanoscale lubrication properties of graphene depend on chemical functionalization, adsorbants, and bonding to the substrate. The dependence of friction on the rotational orientation of graphene on a Pt(111) surface was studied by high-resolution friction force microscopy in ultra-high vacuum and interpreted through complementary simulations. Lateral forces reveal an atomic-scale stick-slip motion with the periodicity of the graphene structure. Additionally, the lateral forces were modulated by a Moiré pattern, which depends on the rotation of the respective domain. Comparing the experimental results to simulations of the friction process based on the Prandtl-Tomlinson model and to atomistic simulations of the tip-sample interactions, it was found that the modulation of lateral forces or iginated from a structural mismatch between Pt(111) and graphene domains that were locally pinned to the substrate. Domains with preferred orientations, such as the R1° and the R24°, appeared to exhibit lower average friction than those with orientations less frequently observed, such as the R10° domain.