2021-09-07Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.18452/25968
Shaping surfaces and interfaces of 2D materials on mica with intercalating water and ethanol
Interfaces between mica and graphene, as well as the transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) MoS2 and WS2, were wetted with water and ethanol, and investigated employing scanning force microscopy and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Below 25% RH, water wets the graphene-mica interface with labyrinthine structures, exhibiting branch widths of about 50 nm for single layers of graphene, increasing to almost an order of magnitude more for four graphene layers. At mica-TMDC interfaces, water films exhibit a transition from labyrinthine to compact morphology upon going from single- to multi-layers of the TMDCs. Ethanol films show a compact morphology at all the interfaces, regardless of the number of 2D material layers on top. The film morphologies are attributed to an equilibrium between electrostatic repulsion of preferentially oriented molecular dipoles, and the line tension of the wetted areas, which is dominated by the deformation of the 2D materials at the edges of the wet areas. The compact front of the water wetting film under multilayers of TMDCs is attributed to a much larger bending stiffness of these materials than of graphene multilayers. The thickness dependent stiffness of the 2D materials may be employed to shape their surfaces from the nano- to the micrometer scale.
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This article was supported by the Open Access Publication Fund of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.