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Piezoelectricity in single-molecular-layer transition metal dichalcogenide

Hanyu Zhu1, Yuan Wang1, Jun Xiao1, Ang-Yu Lu2, Lain-Jong Li2 and Xiang Zhang1
NSF Nano-scale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC), University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA
Physical Science & Engineering Division, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia

Background Measure in-plane piezoelectricity Angular & layer dependence Acknowledgement & References
Supported by the US DOE Energy Frontier Research Center under
Piezoelectricity: definition Application: Due to its 3-fold symmetry the piezoelectric cou-
We combined a laterally applied E award DOE DE-AC02-05CH11231 and NSF EFRI 2-DARE 1542741
Resonator & Motor pling of the MoS2 monolayer is:
electric field and nano-indentation
(electricity to strain) θ
in an atomic force microscope [1] Hanyu Zhu, et al., Observation of piezoelectricity in free-standing
(AFM) to measure the in-plane monolayer MoS2, Nature Nanotechnology 10, 151–155 (2015).
piezoelectrically generated mem- The change of sign from the upper devices to the [2] Ang-Yu Lu, et al., Janus atomic monolayers of transition metal di-
brane stress. Suspending MoS2 lower ones allowed us to assign the atomic orien- chalcogenides, Nature Nanotechnology, AOP 100 (2017).
minimized substrate effects such as Optical lever tation, i.e. differentiating the crystal with its mirror
doping and parasitic charges. The image. We also measured the thickness depen-
dence of the piezoelectric coefficient from natural
Sensor & Generator
two electrodes were oppositely
biased relative to substrate to Cantilever 2H-MoS2 crystals. For even-layer membranes, Other IoT Related Works
(strain to electricity) reduce electrostatic force. The ac- the contributions to piezoelectricity from alternat-

tuation frequency was kept much ing orientations of adjacent layers cancelled.
Au electrode
Piezoelectricity allows precise and That’s why bulk 2H-MoS2 is not piezoelectric.
robust conversion between electricity
lower than the mechanical reso-
nance and quasi-static analysis is + 350

coupling (pC/m)
and mechanical force, and arises applicable. SiO2 300 300

from the broken inversion symmetry Si substrate
in the atomic structure. It has found a 0 200
wide range of applications in nano- -100 150
electro-mechanical systems (NEMS). -200 100

Device fabrication -300

-10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
1 2 3
Angle (deg) Layer number
Material challenge MoS2 monolayer was produced by
mechanical exfoliation on
Rough surface Size effect in
poly-methyl-methacrylate (PMMA).
The electrodes were designed to
Out-of-plane piezoelectricity
and dangling bonds ferroelectric materials
be parallel to or at 60° with respect Light emitting diode integrated on silicon:
to the sharply cleaved edges. Sus- H2 plasma Efficient carrier injection and light emission was achieved in
pension, mechanical clamping and stripping heterojunctions of monolayer MoS2 (n-type) and heavily doped
electrical contact were simultane- (p-type) silicon. (Ye et al., Exciton-dominant electroluminescence from
ously achieved by one-step elec- Thermal a diode of monolayer MoS2, Appl. Phys. Lett. 104, 193508 (2014).)
5 µm tron-beam lithography (EBL). The selenization
MoS2 flake was released by critical
point drying. Many piezoelectric NEMS designs rely on out-of-plane electromechan-
Peng et al, 2000 ical coupling. However MoS2 has out-of-plane mirror symmetry and no
Junquera et al, 2003
piezoelectricity along z-axis. We engineered a physical-chemical pro-
What is the ultimate scale limit of piezoelectric devices? For traditional cess to selectively replace the sulfur atoms on one side with selenium
materials it is challenging to get high-quality surface for freestanding and created structural asymmetry.
structures. In addition, when the thickness approaches a single molec-
ular layer, the large surface energy can cause piezoelectric structures Electric field
to be thermodynamically unstable. Prior to this study, there was no ex-
perimental measurement of the intrinsic piezoelectric properties of
sub-nanometer crystals.
2 µm

Opportunity: layered materials

Monolayer laser on silicon: Using a whispering gallery cavity with a
15 Scanning piezoresponse high quality factor and optical confinement, we observe bright excitonic
Chhowalla et al, 2013 40 lasing from a monolayer WS2 at visible wavelengths under optical
pumping, a major step towards two-dimensional on-chip optoelectron-

30 10
load (pN)
Load (nN)

ics for optical communication and sensing. (Ye et al., Monolayer exci-
5 tonic laser, Nat. Photon. 9, 733–737 (2015).)
0 0
0 20 40 60 80 0 20 40 60 80 500 nm
Depth (nm) Depth (nm)

The experimental load of on a 0.4

monolayer MoS2 device (black
stress (mN/m)

S 0.3
Mo y
scatter) was fit with Y2D = (1.2 ±
0.1) × 102 N m−1 and σ2D = 45 ± 0.2
The MoSSe flakes were directly synthesized
x 5 mN m−1 (red curve). For this 0.1 on atomically flat conductive substrates. We
Transition-metal dichalcogenides, such device, piezoelectric stress of Δσ used piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM)
0.0 500 nm
as MoS2 can retain their structural asym- Electric field = 0.12 ± 0.02 mN m −1
was with resonance enhancement. DC bias was
0 1 2 3 Large-scale chemical assembly of atomically thin circuits:
metry down to the single-layer limit with- deduced. A positive sign was applied to balance the potential of the tip and
Driving Voltage (V) Spatially controlled synthesis of heterostructures made of monolayer
out lattice reconstruction under ambient assigned because the signal and the substrate and minimized the electrostatic effect. There is clear piezo-
MoS2 and graphene enables high-performance flexible circuits. Zhao
condition, that enables two dimensional the driving voltage were in phase. The piezoelectric stress increased electric contrast between the a MoSSe monolayer and the substrate, but
et al., Large-scale chemical assembly of atomically thin transistors and
piezoelectricity. The membrane has a with ramping driving voltage (black scatter). A linear fit (red curve) no contrast for random alloy or folded bilayer. The estimated piezoelectric
circuits, Nat. Nano. 11, 954–959 (2016).
total thickness of 0.6 nm and is biocom- gives e11 = (2.9 ± 0.5) × 10−10 C/m (or d = (2.9 ± 0.5) pm/V, The values coefficient d33 is around 0.1 pm/V, and can potentially be improved by in-
patible for device applications. agree well with previous ab initio calculations and experiments. creasing the dipolar contrast.