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Atomic reconstruction in twisted bilayers of transition metal dichalcogenides

DOI: 10.1038/s41565-020-0682-9 DOI Help

Authors: Astrid Weston (University of Manchester) , Yichao Zou (University of Manchester) , Vladimir Enaldiev (University of Manchester; Kotel’nikov Institute of Radio-engineering and Electronics, Russian Academy of Sciences) , Alex Summerfield (University of Manchester) , Nicholas Clark (University of Manchester) , Viktor Zólyomi (University of Manchester) , Abigail Graham (University of Warwick) , Celal Yelgel (University of Manchester) , Samuel Magorrian (University of Manchester) , Mingwei Zhou (University of Manchester) , Johanna Zultak (University of Manchester) , David Hopkinson (University of Manchester) , Alexei Barinov (Elettra-Sincrotrone Trieste) , Thomas H. Bointon (University of Manchester) , Andrey Kretinin (University of Manchester) , Neil R. Wilson (University of Warwick) , Peter H. Beton (University of Nottingham) , Vladimir I. Fal’ko (University of Manchester) , Sarah J. Haigh (University of Manchester) , Roman Gorbachev (University of Manchester)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Nature Nanotechnology , VOL 15 , PAGES 592 - 597

State: Published (Approved)
Published: May 2020
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 19315 , 21597

Abstract: Van der Waals heterostructures form a unique class of layered artificial solids in which physical properties can be manipulated through controlled composition, order and relative rotation of adjacent atomic planes. Here we use atomic-resolution transmission electron microscopy to reveal the lattice reconstruction in twisted bilayers of the transition metal dichalcogenides, MoS2 and WS2. For twisted 3R bilayers, a tessellated pattern of mirror-reflected triangular 3R domains emerges, separated by a network of partial dislocations for twist angles θ < 2°. The electronic properties of these 3R domains, featuring layer-polarized conduction-band states caused by lack of both inversion and mirror symmetry, appear to be qualitatively different from those of 2H transition metal dichalcogenides. For twisted 2H bilayers, stable 2H domains dominate, with nuclei of a second metastable phase. This appears as a kagome-like pattern at θ ≈ 2°, transitioning at θ → 0 to a hexagonal array of screw dislocations separating large-area 2H domains. Tunnelling measurements show that such reconstruction creates strong piezoelectric textures, opening a new avenue for engineering of 2D material properties.

Journal Keywords: Two-dimensional materials

Subject Areas: Materials, Physics

Diamond Offline Facilities: Electron Physical Sciences Imaging Centre (ePSIC)
Instruments: E02-JEM ARM 300CF

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