Contact mechanics of graphene-covered metal surfaces
We carry out molecular statics simulations of the indentation of bare and graphene-covered Pt (111) surfaces with smooth and rough indenters of radius 1.5 to 10 nm. Our simulations show that the plastic yield of bare surfaces strongly depends on atomic-scale indenter roughness such as terraces or amorphous disorder. Covering surfaces with graphene regularizes this response to the results obtained for ideally smooth indenters. Our results suggest that graphene monolayers and other 2D materials mitigate the effect of roughness, which could be exploited to improve the fidelity of experiments that probe the mechanical properties of interfaces.