High, Size-Dependent Quality Factor in an Array of Graphene Mechanical Resonators

Graphene’s unparalleled strength, stiffness, and low mass per unit area make it an ideal material for nanomechanical resonators, but its relatively low quality factor is an important drawback that has been difficult to overcome. Here, we use a simple procedure to fabricate circular mechanical resonators of various diameters from graphene grown by chemical vapor deposition. In addition to highly reproducible resonance frequencies and mode shapes, we observe a striking improvement of the membrane quality factor with increasing size. At room temperature, we observe quality factors as high as 2400 ± 300 for a resonator 22.5 μm in diameter, about an order of magnitude greater than previously observed quality factors for monolayer graphene. Measurements of quality factor as a function of modal frequency reveal little dependence of <i>Q</i> on frequency. These measurements shed light on the mechanisms behind dissipation in monolayer graphene resonators and demonstrate that the quality factor of graphene resonators relative to their thickness is among the highest of any mechanical resonator demonstrated to date.