Rippling ultrafast dynamics of suspended 2D monolayers, graphene

Here, using ultrafast electron crystallography (UEC), we report the observation of rippling dynamics in suspended monolayer graphene, the prototypical and most-studied 2D material. The high scattering cross-section for electron/matter interaction, the atomic-scale spatial resolution, and the ultrafast temporal resolution of UEC represent the key elements that make this technique a unique tool for the dynamic investigation of 2D materials, and nanostructures in general. We find that, at early time after the ultrafast optical excitation, graphene undergoes a lattice expansion on a time scale of 5 ps, which is due to the excitation of short-wavelength in-plane acoustic phonon modes that stretch the graphene plane. On a longer time scale, a slower thermal contraction with a time constant of 50 ps is observed and associated with the excitation of out-of-plane phonon modes, which drive the lattice toward thermal equilibrium with the well-known negative thermal expansion coefficient of graphene. From our results and first-principles lattice dynamics and out-of-equilibrium relaxation calculations, we quantitatively elucidate the deformation dynamics of the graphene unit cell.

Published in:
Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America, 113, 43, E6555-E6561
Washington, National Academy of Sciences

 Record created 2016-11-21, last modified 2018-01-28

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