Nonlinear dynamic identification of graphene's elastic modulus via reduced order modeling of atomistic simulations

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Despite numerous theoretical investigations on the mechanical properties of graphene, an accurate identification of its material behavior is still unattained. One hypothesis for this uncertainty is that modeling graphene as a static membrane cannot describe the strong coupling between mechanics and thermodynamics of this structure. Therefore, characterization methods built upon static models could not capture these effects. In this paper, we propose a new method for building a reduced order model for the dynamics of thermalized graphene membranes. We apply the proper orthogonal decomposition algorithm on time responses obtained from molecular dynamics simulations. As a result, a set of orthogonal modes is obtained which are then employed to build a reduced order model. The proposed model can describe the motion of the suspended graphene membrane over the whole spatial domain accurately. Moreover, due to its computational efficiency, it is more versatile for exploring the nonlinear dynamics of the system. This model is then employed for studying the nonlinear dynamics of graphene membranes at large amplitudes to extract Young's modulus. The obtained Young's modulus incorporates the effects of nano-scaled thermally induced dynamic ripples and hence, is temperature and size dependent. Our proposed atomistic modal order reduction method provides a framework for studying the dynamics and extracting the mechanical properties of other nano-structures at the molecular level.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-176
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Elasticity
  • Graphene
  • Idenification
  • Molecular dynamics
  • Nonlinear dynamics
  • Proper orthogonal decomposition
  • Reduced order modeling

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