Strain-Dependent Edge Structures in MoS2 Layers

M. Tinoco Rivas, Luigi Maduro, Mukai Masaki, Eiji Okunishi, Sonia Conesa-Boj*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)
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Edge structures are low-dimensional defects unavoidable in layered materials of the transition metal dichalcogenides (TMD) family. Among the various types of such structures, the armchair (AC) and zigzag (ZZ) edge types are the most common. It has been predicted that the presence of intrinsic strain localized along these edges structures can have direct implications for the customization of their electronic properties. However, pinning down the relation between local structure and electronic properties at these edges is challenging. Here, we quantify the local strain field that arises at the edges of MoS2 flakes by combining aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy (TEM) with the geometrical-phase analysis (GPA) method. We also provide further insight on the possible effects of such edge strain on the resulting electronic behavior by means of electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) measurements. Our results reveal that the two-dominant edge structures, ZZ and AC, induce the formation of different amounts of localized strain fields. We also show that by varying the free edge curvature from concave to convex, compressive strain turns into tensile strain. These results pave the way toward the customization of edge structures in MoS2, which can be used to engineer the properties of layered materials and thus contribute to the optimization of the next generation of atomic-scale electronic devices built upon them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7021-7026
Number of pages6
JournalNano Letters: a journal dedicated to nanoscience and nanotechnology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2017


  • aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy
  • edge structures
  • electron energy loss spectroscopy
  • strain
  • Transition-metal dichalcogenides

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