The recent decade has witnessed a tremendous development of graphene applications in many fields; however, as one of the key considerations, the mechanical properties of graphene still remain largely unexplored. Herein, by employing focused ion beam irradiation, graphene with various defect levels is obtained and further investigated by using Raman spectroscopy and scanning tunneling microscopy. Specially, our atomic force microscopy based nanomechanical property measurement demonstrates a clear defect density dependent behavior in the elastic modulus of graphene on a substrate as the defect density is higher than a threshold value of 1012 cm−2, where a clear decay is observed in the stiffness of graphene. This defect density dependence is mainly attributed to the appearance of amorphous graphene, which is further confirmed with our molecular dynamics calculations. Therefore, our reported result provides an essential guidance to enable the rational design of graphene materials in nanodevices, especially from the perspective of mechanical properties.

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