## Quantum elasticity of graphene: Thermal expansion coefficient and specific heat

##### Publication year

2016##### Number of pages

18 p.

##### Source

Physical Review B, 94, 19, (2016), pp. 18-36##### ISSN

##### Publication type

Article / Letter to editor

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##### Organization

Theory of Condensed Matter

##### Journal title

Physical Review B

##### Volume

vol. 94

##### Issue

iss. 19

##### Page start

p. 18

##### Page end

p. 36

##### Subject

Theory of Condensed Matter##### Abstract

We explore thermodynamics of a quantum membrane, with a particular application to suspended graphene membrane and with a particular focus on the thermal expansion coefficient. We show that an interplay between quantum and classical anharmonicity-controlled fluctuations leads to unusual elastic properties of the membrane. The effect of quantum fluctuations is governed by the dimensionless coupling constant, g(0) << 1, which vanishes in the classical limit (h -> 0) and is equal to similar or equal to 0.05 for graphene. We demonstrate that the thermal expansion coefficient alpha(T) of the membrane is negative and remains nearly constant down to extremely low temperatures, T-0 proportional to exp(-2/g(0)). We also find that alpha(T) diverges in the classical limit: alpha(T) proportional to -ln(1/g(0)) for g(0) -> 0. For graphene parameters, we estimate the value of the thermal expansion coefficient as alpha(T) similar or equal to -0.23 eV(-1), which applies below the temperature T-uv similar to g(0)x(0) similar to 500K(where x(0) similar to 1 eV is the bending rigidity) down to T-0 similar to 10(-1)4 K. For T < T-0, the thermal expansion coefficient slowly (logarithmically) approaches zero with decreasing temperature. This behavior is surprising since typically the thermal expansion coefficient goes to zero as a power-law function. We discuss possible experimental consequences of this anomaly. We also evaluate classical and quantum contributions to the specific heat of the membrane and investigate the behavior of the Gruneisen parameter.

##### This item appears in the following Collection(s)

- Academic publications [227207]
- Electronic publications [108511]
- Faculty of Science [33997]
- Open Access publications [77661]

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