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Issue 28, 2016
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In situ TEM visualization of superior nanomechanical flexibility of shear-exfoliated phosphorene

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Abstract

Recently discovered atomically thin black phosphorus (called phosphorene) holds great promise for applications in flexible nanoelectronic devices. Experimentally identifying and characterizing nanomechanical properties of phosphorene are challenging, but also potentially rewarding. This work combines for the first time in situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) imaging and an in situ micro-manipulation system to directly visualize the nanomechanical behaviour of individual phosphorene nanoflakes. We demonstrate that the phosphorene nanoflakes can be easily bent, scrolled, and stretched, showing remarkable mechanical flexibility rather than fracturing. An out-of-plane plate-like bending mechanism and in-plane tensile strain of up to 34% were observed. Moreover, a facile liquid-phase shear exfoliation route has been developed to produce such mono-layer and few-layer phosphorene nanoflakes in organic solvents using only a household kitchen blender. The effects of surface tensions of the applied solvents on the ratio of average length and thickness (L/T) of the nanoflakes were studied systematically. The results reported here will pave the way for potential industrial-scale applications of flexible phosphorene nanoelectronic devices.

Graphical abstract: In situ TEM visualization of superior nanomechanical flexibility of shear-exfoliated phosphorene

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Publication details

The article was received on 25 Mar 2016, accepted on 17 Jun 2016 and first published on 20 Jun 2016


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C6NR02487D
Nanoscale, 2016,8, 13603-13610

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    In situ TEM visualization of superior nanomechanical flexibility of shear-exfoliated phosphorene

    F. Xu, H. Ma, S. Lei, J. Sun, J. Chen, B. Ge, Y. Zhu and L. Sun, Nanoscale, 2016, 8, 13603
    DOI: 10.1039/C6NR02487D

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