Designing artificial two-dimensional landscapes via atomic-layer substitution

Yunfan Guo, Yuxuan Lin, Kaichen Xie, Biao Yuan, Jiadi Zhu, Pin Chun Shen, Ang Yu Lu, Cong Su, Enzheng Shi, Kunyan Zhang, Changan HuangFu, Haowei Xu, Zhengyang Cai, Ji Hoon Park, Qingqing Ji, Jiangtao Wang, Xiaochuan Dai, Xuezeng Tian, Shengxi Huang, Letian DouLiying Jiao, Ju Li, Yi Yu, Juan Carlos Idrobo, Ting Cao, Tomás Palacios, Jing Kong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Technology advancements in history have often been propelled by material innovations. In recent years, two-dimensional (2D) materials have attracted substantial interest as an ideal platform to construct atomic-level material architectures. In this work, we design a reaction pathway steered in a very different energy landscape, in contrast to typical thermal chemical vapor deposition method in high temperature, to enable room-temperature atomic-layer substitution (RT-ALS). First-principle calculations elucidate how the RT-ALS process is overall exothermic in energy and only has a small reaction barrier, facilitating the reaction to occur at room temperature. As a result, a variety of Janus monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides with vertical dipole could be universally realized. In particular, the RT-ALS strategy can be combined with lithography and fliptransfer to enable programmable in-plane multiheterostructures with different out-of-plane crystal symmetry and electric polarization. Various characterizations have confirmed the fidelity of the precise single atomic layer conversion. Our approach for designing an artificial 2D landscape at selective locations of a single layer of atoms can lead to unique electronic, photonic, and mechanical properties previously not found in nature. This opens a new paradigm for future material design, enabling structures and properties for unexplored territories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2106124118
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number32
StatePublished - Aug 10 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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