Structural Phase Transformation in Strained Monolayer MoWSe2 Alloy. Academic Article uri icon


  • Two-dimensional (2D) materials exhibit different mechanical properties from their bulk counterparts owing to their monolayer atomic thickness. Here, we have examined the mechanical behavior of 2D molybdenum tungsten diselenide (MoWSe2) precipitation alloy grown using chemical vapor deposition and composed of numerous nanoscopic MoSe2 and WSe2 regions. Applying a bending strain blue-shifted the MoSe2 and WSe2 A1g Raman modes with the stress concentrated near the precipitate interfaces predominantly affecting the WSe2 modes. In situ local Raman measurements suggested that the crack propagated primarily thorough MoSe2-rich regions in the monolayer alloy. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were performed to study crack propagation in an MoSe2 monolayer containing nanoscopic WSe2 regions akin to the experiment. Raman spectra calculated from MD trajectories of crack propagation confirmed the emergence of intermediate peaks in the strained monolayer alloy, mirroring experimental results. The simulations revealed that the stress buildup around the crack tip caused an irreversible structural transformation from the 2H to 1T phase both in the MoSe2 matrix and WSe2 patches. This was corroborated by high-angle annular dark-field images. Crack branching and subsequent healing of a crack branch were also observed in WSe2, indicating the increased toughness and crack propagation resistance of the alloyed 2D MoWSe2 over the unalloyed counterparts.

published proceedings

  • ACS Nano

altmetric score

  • 0.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Apte, A., Kochat, V., Rajak, P., Krishnamoorthy, A., Manimunda, P., Hachtel, J. A., ... Ajayan, P. M.

citation count

  • 51

complete list of authors

  • Apte, Amey||Kochat, Vidya||Rajak, Pankaj||Krishnamoorthy, Aravind||Manimunda, Praveena||Hachtel, Jordan A||Idrobo, Juan Carlos||Syed Amanulla, Syed Asif||Vashishta, Priya||Nakano, Aiichiro||Kalia, Rajiv K||Tiwary, Chandra Sekhar||Ajayan, Pulickel M

publication date

  • January 2018