In this paper, we theoretically demonstrate the strong mechanical response of graphene sheets actuated by near-field optical forces. We study single-layer graphene and a two-layer graphene stack with large separation and show that tunable attractive and repulsive forces can be generated. A large nonlinear mechanical response can be obtained by driving the sheets through external radiation and guided modes. We report formation of graphene bubbles of several nanometers in height. Our study points towards new routes for mechanical actuation of graphene, providing new platforms for straintronics and flexible optoelectronics.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors acknowledge the support of the Army Research Office (W911NF-14-0247) under the Multidisciplinary University Research Initiatives program.