Water nanolayer facilitated solitary-wave-like blisters in MoS2 thin films

EZ Wang and ZX Xiong and ZK Chen and ZQ Xin and HC Ma and HT Ren and BL Wang and J Guo and YF Sun and XW Wang and CY Li and XY Li and K Liu, NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 14 (2023).

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-023-40020-7

'Solitary waves are unique in nonlinear systems. Here, the authors report on an anomalous, solitary wave-like blister (SWLB) of MoS2 thin films, which propagates forward like solitary waves appearing in fluids. The SWLB results from fluid structure interaction due to an interfacial water nanolayer.' Solitary waves are unique in nonlinear systems, but their formation and propagation in the nonlinear fluid-structure interactions have yet to be further explored. As a typical nonlinear system, the buckling of solid thin films is fundamentally related to the film-substrate interface that is further vulnerable to environments, especially when fluids exist. In this work, we report an anomalous, solitary-wave-like blister (SWLB) mode of MoS2 thin films in a humid environment. Unlike the most common telephone-cord and web buckling deformation, the SWLB propagates forward like solitary waves that usually appear in fluids and exhibits three-dimensional expansions of the profiles during propagation. In situ mechanical, optical, and topology measurements verify the existence of an interfacial water nanolayer, which facilitates a delamination of films at the front side of the SWLB and a readhesion at the tail side owing to the water nanolayer-induced fluid-structure interaction. Furthermore, the expansion morphologies and process of the SWLB are predicted by our theoretical model based on the energy change of buckle propagation. Our work not only demonstrates the emerging SWLB mode in a solid material but also sheds light on the significance of interfacial water nanolayers to structural deformation and functional applications of thin films.

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