The buckling of graphene sheets on substrates can significantly degrade their performance in materials and devices. Therefore, a systematic investigation on the buckling behavior of monolayer graphene sheet/substrate systems is carried out in this paper by both molecular mechanics simulations and theoretical analysis. From 70 simulation cases of simple-supported graphene sheets with different sizes under uniaxial compression, two different buckling modes are investigated and revealed to be dominated by the graphene size. Especially, for graphene sheets with length larger than 3 nm and width larger than 1.1 nm, the buckling mode depends only on the length/width ratio. Besides, it is revealed that the existence of graphene substrate can increase the critical buckling stress and strain to 4.39 N/m and 1.58%, respectively, which are about 10 times those for free-standing graphene sheets. Moreover, for graphene sheets with common size (longer than 20 nm), both theoretical and simulation results show that the critical buckling stress and strain are dominated only by the adhesive interactions with substrate and independent of the graphene size. Results in this work provide valuable insight and guidelines for the design and application of graphene-derived materials and nano-electromechanical systems.
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