Ordered and Atomically Perfect Fragmentation of Layered Transition Metal Dichalcogenides via Mechanical Instabilities

Ming Chen, Juan Xia, Jiadong Zhou, Qingsheng Zeng, Kaiwei Li, Kazunori Fujisawa, Wei Fu, Ting Zhang, Jing Zhang, Zhe Wang, Zhixun Wang, Xiaoting Jia, Mauricio Terrones, Ze Xiang Shen, Zheng Liu, Lei Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Thermoplastic polymers subjected to a continuous tensile stress experience a state of mechanical instabilities, resulting in neck formation and propagation. The necking process with strong localized strain enables the transformation of initially brittle polymeric materials into robust, flexible, and oriented forms. Here we harness the polymer-based mechanical instabilities to control the fragmentation of atomically thin transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs). We develop a simple and versatile nanofabrication tool to precisely fragment atom-thin TMDs sandwiched between thermoplastic polymers into ordered and atomically perfect TMD nanoribbons in arbitrary directions regardless of the crystal structures, defect content, and original geometries. This method works for a very broad spectrum of semiconducting TMDs with thicknesses ranging from monolayers to bulk crystals. We also explore the electrical properties of the fabricated monolayer nanoribbon arrays, obtaining an on/off ratio of â106 for such MoS2 arrays based field-effect transistors. Furthermore, we demonstrate an improved hydrogen evolution reaction with the resulting monolayer MoS2 nanoribbons, thanks to the largely increased catalytic edge sites formed by this physical fragmentation method. This capability not only enriches the fundamental study of TMD extreme and fragmentation mechanics, but also impacts on future developments of TMD-based devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9191-9199
Number of pages9
JournalACS nano
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 26 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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