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Adsorbate-induced curvature and stiffening of graphene

Svatek, Simon A.; Scott, Oliver R.; Rivett, Jasmine P.H.; Wright, Katherine; Baldoni, Matteo; Bichoutskaia, Elena; Taniguchi, Takashi; Watanabe, Kenji; Marsden, Alexander J.; Wilson, Neil R.; Beton, Peter H.


Simon A. Svatek

Oliver R. Scott

Jasmine P.H. Rivett

Katherine Wright

Matteo Baldoni

Professor of Theoretical Computational Chemistry

Takashi Taniguchi

Kenji Watanabe

Alexander J. Marsden

Neil R. Wilson


The adsorption of the alkane tetratetracontane (TTC, C44H90) on graphene induces the formation of a curved surface stabilized by a gain in adsorption energy. This effect arises from a curvature-dependent variation of a moiré pattern due to the mismatch of the carbon−carbon separation in the adsorbed molecule and the period of graphene. The effect is observed when graphene is transferred onto a deformable substrate, which in our case is the interface between water layers adsorbed on mica and an organic solvent, but is not observed on more rigid substrates such as boron nitride. Our results show that molecular adsorption can be influenced by substrate curvature, provide an example of two-dimensional molecular self-assembly on a soft, responsive interface, and demonstrate that the mechanical properties of graphene may be modified by molecular adsorption, which is of relevance to nanomechanical systems, electronics, and membrane technology.


Svatek, S. A., Scott, O. R., Rivett, J. P., Wright, K., Baldoni, M., Bichoutskaia, E., …Beton, P. H. (2015). Adsorbate-induced curvature and stiffening of graphene. Nano Letters, 15(1),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 3, 2014
Online Publication Date Dec 3, 2014
Publication Date Jan 5, 2015
Deposit Date Feb 15, 2016
Publicly Available Date Feb 15, 2016
Journal Nano Letters
Print ISSN 1530-6984
Electronic ISSN 1530-6992
Publisher American Chemical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 15
Issue 1
Keywords graphene, water, mica, STM, alkanes
Public URL
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:
Additional Information This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in Nano Letters, copyright © American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher.
To access the final edited and published work see


svatek_adsorbate.pdf (2.7 Mb)

Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:

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