Structural transformation in monolayer materials: a 2D to 1D transformation†
Reducing the dimensions of materials to atomic scales results in a large portion of atoms being at or near the surface, with lower bond order and thus higher energy. At such scales, reduction of the surface energy and surface stresses can be the driving force for the formation of new low-dimensional nanostructures, and may be exhibited through surface relaxation and/or surface reconstruction, which can be utilized for tailoring the properties and phase transformation of nanomaterials without applying any external load. Here we used atomistic simulations and revealed an intrinsic structural transformation in monolayer materials that lowers their dimension from 2D nanosheets to 1D nanostructures to reduce their surface and elastic energies. Experimental evidence of such transformation has also been revealed for one of the predicted nanostructures. Such transformation plays an important role in bi-/multi-layer 2D materials.