Effect of misfit strain on the thermal expansion coefficient of graphene/MoS2 van der Waals heterostructures

RS Zhang and JW Jiang, PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 24, 156-162 (2021).

DOI: 10.1039/d1cp04655a

Because of their advanced properties inherited from their constituent atomic layers, van der Waals heterostructures such as graphene/MoS2 are promising candidates for many optical and electronic applications. However, because heat tends to be generated during the operation of nanodevices, thermal expansion is an important phenomenon to consider for the thermal stability of such heterostructures. In the present work, molecular dynamics simulations are used to investigate the thermal expansion coefficient of the graphene/MoS2 heterostructure, and how the unavoidable misfit strain affects that coefficient is revealed. The misfit strain can tune the thermal expansion coefficient by a factor of six, and this effect is quite robust in the sense that it is insensitive to the size or direction of the heterostructure. Further analysis shows that the misfit strain offers an efficient means of engineering thermally induced ripples, this being the key mechanism for how the misfit strain affects the thermal expansion coefficient. These findings provide valuable information about the thermal stability of van der Waals heterostructures and offer help for practical applications of nanodevices based on such heterostructures.

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