Recently, Prof. Zhao and his research team at the State Key Laboratory of Nonlinear Mechanics Institute of Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, achieved new research progress in the molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of electro-elasto-capillarity (EEC) and published their work inScientific Reports of Nature Publishing Group (Zhu XY, YuanQZ &Zhao YP*. Capillary wave propagation during thedelamination of graphene by the precursor films in electro-elasto-capillarity. Scientific Reports, 2: 927 (2012)).
Elasto-capillarity (EC) has been used to realize the self-assembly of 3D micro/nano structures driven by the droplet in the recent decade. To realize the revisable and controllable process, Prof. Zhao have proposed the electro-elasto-capillarity (EEC), in which a small droplet can be reversibly and controllably wrapped or unwrapped by a soft membrane using the electric field. Previous work of Zhao group have been published in Physical Review Letters (104: 246101 (2010)) and Proceedings of the Royal Society A (468: 2485 (2012)).
PhD student Xueyan Zhu, Dr. Quanzi Yuan and Prof. YaPu Zhao explored the dynamic EEC process of graphene-water system using large-scale MD simulations and theoretical analyses. They found the propagation of capillary wave in EEC, which is induced by the competition between two precursor films (PFs). During the wave propagation, the upper PF on the graphene propagated to unwrap the folding structure, while the lower PF on the substrate propagated to delaminate the graphene from the substrate. The propagation of the capillary wave is controlled by the driving work difference of the two PFs. And the capillary wave velocity is insensitive to the electric field intensity. Through theoretical analysis, they derived the dispersion relation of the capillary wave and the wave velocity, which is of the same order of that in the simulations.
Prof. Zhao has given an invited report on this work on the 4th International Conference of Recent Progress in Graphene Research (October 3-6, 2012, Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences).
This work was jointly supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Instrument Developing Project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Key Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.