A recent experimental study showed that an induced folded flap of graphene can spontaneously drive itself its tearing and peeling off a substrate, thus producing long, micrometer sized, regular trapezoidal-shaped folded graphene nanoribbons. As long as the size of the gra
phene flaps is above a threshold value, the “tug of war” between the forces of adhesion of graphene-graphene and graphene-substrate, flexural strain of folded region and carbon-carbon (CC) covalent bonds favor the self-tearing and self-peeling off process. As the detailed information regarding the atomic scale mechanism involved in the process remains not fully understood, we carried out atomistic reactive molecular dynamics simulations to address some features of the process. We show that large thermal fluctuations can prevent the process by increasing the probability of chemical reactions between carbon dangling bonds of adjacent graphene layers. The effects of the strength of attraction between graphene and the substrate on the ribbon growth velocities at the early stages of the phenomenon were also investigated. Str
uctures with initial armchair crack-edges were observed to form more uniform cuts than those having initial zigzag ones. Our results are of importance to help set up new experiments on this phenomenon, especially with samples with nanoscale sized cuts.