Stiffening thermal membranes by cutting

Emily R. Russell, Rastko Sknepnek, Mark J. Bowick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
171 Downloads (Pure)


Two-dimensional crystalline membranes have recently been realized experimentally in systems such as graphene and molybdenum disulfide, sparking a resurgence in interest in their statistical properties. Thermal fluctuations can significantly affect the effective mechanical properties of properly thermalized membranes, renormalizing both bending rigidity and elastic moduli so that in particular they become stiffer to bending than their bare bending rigidity would suggest. We use molecular dynamics simulations to examine how the mechanical behavior of thermalized two-dimensional clamped ribbons (cantilevers) depends on their precise topology and geometry. We find that a simple slit smooths roughness as measured by the variance of height fluctuations. This counterintuitive effect may be due to the counterposed coupling of the lips of the slit to twist in the intact regions of the ribbon.

Original languageEnglish
Article number013002
JournalPhysical Review A
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2017


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