PerspectiveMaterials Science

Driving Dislocations in Graphene

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Science  13 Jul 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6091, pp. 161-162
DOI: 10.1126/science.1224681

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Summary

The movement of dislocations in crystals—defects such as an extra half-plane of atoms—can determine the strength of a material and how it will deform under a load, and how it accommodates strain (1). In most materials, tracking the movement of dislocations in three dimensions requires analysis of high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images. Tracking atomic positions in graphene, a two-dimensional material, could simplify such studies, and on page 209 of this issue, Warner et al. (2) use a sophisticated TEM technique to see, create, and move dislocations in suspended graphene. These results can help guide efforts to improve our theoretical understanding of how defect motion affects the mechanical properties of materials.