Elastic properties of chemically derived single graphene sheets
The elastic modulus of freely suspended graphene monolayers, obtained via chemical reduction of graphene oxide, was determined through tip-induced deformation experiments. Despite their defect content, the single sheets exhibit an extraordinary stiffness (E = 0.25 TPa) approaching that of pristine graphene, as well as a high flexibility which enables them to bend easily in their elastic regime. Built-in tensions are found to be significantly lower compared to mechanically exfoliated graphene. The high resilience of the sheets is demonstrated by their unaltered electrical conductivity after multiple deformations. The electrical conductivity of the sheets scales inversely with the elastic modulus, pointing toward a 2-fold role of the oxygen bridges, that is, to impart a bond reinforcement while at the same time impeding the charge transport.