Confined Crack Propagation in MoS2Monolayers by Creating Atomic Vacancies

Yolanda Manzanares-Negro, Guillermo López-Polín, Kazunori Fujisawa, Tianyi Zhang, Fu Zhang, Ethan Kahn, Néstor Perea-López, Mauricio Terrones, Julio Gómez-Herrero, Cristina Gómez-Navarro

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16 Scopus citations


In two-dimensional crystals, fractures propagate easily, thus restricting their mechanical reliability. This work demonstrates that controlled defect creation constitutes an effective approach to avoid catastrophic failure in MoS2 monolayers. A systematic study of fracture mechanics in MoS2 monolayers as a function of the density of atomic vacancies, created by ion irradiation, is reported. Pristine and irradiated materials were studied by atomic force microscopy, high-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy, and Raman spectroscopy. By inducing ruptures through nanoindentations, we determine the strength and length of the propagated cracks within MoS2 atom-thick membranes as a function of the density and type of the atomic vacancies. We find that a 0.15% atomic vacancy induces a decrease of 40% in strength with respect to that of pristine samples. In contrast, while tear holes in pristine 2D membranes span several microns, they are restricted to a few nanometers in the presence of atomic and nanometer-sized vacancies, thus increasing the material's fracture toughness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1210-1216
Number of pages7
JournalACS nano
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 26 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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