We investigate the effect of mechanical strain on graphene synthesized by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) transferred onto flexible polymer substrates by observing the change in the Raman spectrum and then compare this to the behavior of exfoliated graphene. Previous studies into the effect of strain on graphene have focused on mechanically exfoliated graphene, which consists of large single domains. However, for wide scale applications CVD produced films are more applicable, and these differ in morphology, instead consisting of a patchwork of smaller domains separated by domain boundaries. We find that under strain the Raman spectra of CVD graphene transferred onto a silicone elastomer exhibits unusual behavior, with the G and 2D band frequencies decreasing and increasing respectively with applied strain. This unusual Raman behavior is attributed to the presence of domain boundaries in polycrystalline graphene causing unexpected shifts in the electronic structure. This was confirmed by the lack of such behavior in mechanically exfoliated large domain graphene and also in large single-crystal graphene domains grown by CVD. Theoretical calculation of G band for a given large shear strain may explain the unexpected shifts while the shift of the Dirac points from the K point explain the conventional behavior of a 2D band under the strain.
- domain boundary