Adhesive tape exfoliation: Why it works for graphene

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    Single-crystal graphite can be cleaved by the use of an adhesive tape. This was also the initial route for obtaining graphene, a one-layer thick graphite slab. In this letter a few simple and fun considerations are presented in an attempt to shed some light on why this procedure is successful. In particular on the nature of the surprisingly small number of repetitive steps that are needed in order to obtain a single-layer slab. Two frameworks for exfoliation are investigated: parallel exfoliation involving repetitive simultaneous cleaving, the other, serial exfoliation, which involves the repetitive cleaving of a single chunk of graphite. For both cases, parallel and serial exfoliation, it is investigated how many generations of cleavages are needed. An approximate model with the probability distribution expressed as a simple closed form is presented and compared with the simulations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Issue number5
    Pages (from-to)58004
    Number of pages4
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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