Wedge-based mechanical exfoliation

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Wedge-based mechanical exfoliation is a method that involves the use of an ultra-sharp single crystal diamond wedge to penetrate inside a material and cleave a thin layer of material. It was proposed to produce few layers of graphene from a bulk highly ordered pyrolytic graphite (HOPG).[1]

Molecular dynamics simulations studies have been performed to understand how and under what conditions graphene layers separate, fold and shear during the wedge-based mechanical exfoliation machining technique. Molecular simulations of initial wedge engagement show that the entry location of the wedge tip vis-a-vis the nearest graphene layer plays a key role in determining whether layers separate or fold and which layers and how many of them fold.[2]