Adhesion toughness of multilayer graphene films

Interface adhesion toughness between multilayer graphene films and substrates is a major concern for their integration into functional devices. Results from the circular blister test, however, display seemingly anomalous behaviour as adhesion toughness depends on number of graphene layers. Here we show that interlayer shearing and sliding near the blister crack tip, caused by the transition from membrane stretching to combined bending, stretching and through-thickness shearing, decreases fracture mode mixity GII/GI, leading to lower adhesion toughness. For silicon oxide substrate and pressure loading, mode mixity decreases from 232% for monolayer films to 130% for multilayer films, causing the adhesion toughness Gc to decrease from 0.424 J m−2 to 0.365 J m−2. The mode I and II adhesion toughnesses are found to be GIc = 0.230 J m−2 and GIIc = 0.666 J m−2, respectively. With point loading, mode mixity decreases from 741% for monolayer films to 262% for multilayer films, while the adhesion toughness Gc decreases from 0.543 J m−2 to 0.438 J m−2.