Atomic reconstruction in twisted bilayers of transition metal dichalcogenides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • Yichao Zou
  • Vladimir Enaldiev
  • Alex Summerfield
  • Viktor Zolyomi
  • Abigail Graham
  • Celal Yelgel
  • Samuel Magorrian
  • Mingwei Zhou
  • David Hopkinson
  • Alexei Barinov
  • Thomas Bointon
  • Neil R Wilson
  • Peter H Beton
  • Sarah Haigh
  • Roman Gorbachev


Van der Waals heterostructures is a unique class of layered artificial solids that offers the possibility of manipulating their physical properties via 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 MoS2 and WS2 bilayers. For 3R stacking, a tessellated pattern of mirror reflected triangular 3R domains emerges, separated by a network of partial dislocations for the twist angles < 2. The electronic properties of these 3R domains appear qualitatively different from 2H TMDs, featuring layer-polarized conduction band states caused by lack of both inversion and mirror symmetry. In contrast, for 2H stacking, stable 2H domains dominate, with nuclei of a second metastable phase. This appears as a kagome-like pattern at 1, transitioning at ! 0 to a hexagonal array of screw dislocations separating large-area 2H domains. The tunneling measurements show that such reconstruction creates strong piezoelectric textures, opening a new avenue for engineering of 2D material properties.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Nanotechnology
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2020

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