In the process of graphene nanoribbons’ (GNRs) preparation and measurement, mechanical methods such as lifting and dragging are inevitably used to move GNRs, and manipulation of GNRs using these approaches results in intriguing responses such as peeling and sliding. Understanding the mechanical behaviors of GNRs is crucial for the effective use of mechanical deformation as a tool for the measurement and characteristics of low-dimensional material properties. Here, we explore intricate coupling behaviors of peeling and sliding of GNRs under horizontal drag. Using molecular dynamics simulation, we explore effects of lifting height, dragging velocity, length, and orientation of GNRs on mechanical behaviors. We reveal a competition between sliding and peeling of GNRs under horizontal drag and provide a phase diagram. The peeling behavior is found to be originated from the decrease of sliding velocity caused by the sinking of tail atoms. The results not only advance our insightful understanding of the underlying mechanism of different mechanical responses of GNRs but may also guide the precise manipulations of nano surfaces and interfaces.
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