Geometry and chiral symmetry breaking of ripple junctions in 2D materials

Peng Zhao, Yuanxi Wang, Benjamin Katz, Eric Mockensturm, Vincent Crespi, S. Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In bulk crystals dislocation junctions underlie the physics of strain hardening. In two-dimensional (2D) crystals, dislocations take the form of surface ripples owing to the ease of bending and weak vdW adhesion of the atomic layers. Here we report that a ripple junction in 2D crystals features distinct morphologies and functions from their bulk counterparts. Our atomistic simulations show that a ripple junction in monolayer graphene exhibits four-fold symmetry. Upon biaxial compression the ripple junction undergoes helical instability, forming a helix with a random orientation. Differently, in-plane shear separates the junction into two individual ripples. We further demonstrate that the helicity of the junction can be controlled by a shear-compression loading sequence or the adsorption of a single chiral molecule at the junction. Shear-controlled helicity forms the basis for mechanical transduction and electro-opto-mechanical coupling, while adsorbate-driven helicity – which imparts the chirality of a single molecule onto a helical distortion pattern of the host 2D layer – has ramifications for sensing and chiral control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-343
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
StatePublished - Oct 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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