Effect of misfit strain on the buckling of graphene/MoS2 van der Waals heterostructures

RS Zhang and JW Jiang, NANOTECHNOLOGY, 32, 485701 (2021).

DOI: 10.1088/1361-6528/ac1f55

Van der Waals heterostructures inherit many novel electronic and optical properties from their constituent atomic layers. Mechanical stability is key for realizing high-performance nanodevices based on van der Waals heterostructures. However, buckling instability is a critical mechanical issue for heterostructures associated with its two-dimensional nature. Using molecular dynamics simulations of graphene/MoS2 heterostructures, we demonstrate the relationship between buckling instability and the misfit strain that arises inevitably in such heterostructures. The impact of misfit strain on buckling depends on its magnitude: (1) A negative misfit strain causes a pre-compression of the graphene layer, which in turn initiates and accelerates buckling in this layer and reduces the buckling stability in the heterostructure as a whole. (2) A small positive misfit strain enhances the buckling stability of the graphene/MoS2 heterostructure by pre-stretching and hence decelerating the buckling of the graphene layer (where heterostructure buckling is initiated). (3) In the case of a large positive misfit strain, the graphene layer is pre-stretched while the MoS2 layer is significantly pre-compressed, so that heterostructure buckling is initiated by the MoS2 layer. Consequently, the buckling stability of the graphene/MoS2 heterostructure is reduced by increasing the large positive misfit strain. These findings are valuable for understanding the mechanical properties of van der Waals heterostructures.

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