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Issue 17, 2018
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Resolving the optical anisotropy of low-symmetry 2D materials

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Optical anisotropy is one of the most fundamental physical characteristics of emerging low-symmetry two-dimensional (2D) materials. It provides abundant structural information and is crucial for creating diverse nanoscale devices. Here, we have proposed an azimuth-resolved microscopic approach to directly resolve the normalized optical difference along two orthogonal directions at normal incidence. The differential principle ensures that the approach is only sensitive to anisotropic samples and immune to isotropic materials. We studied the optical anisotropy of bare and encapsulated black phosphorus (BP) and unveiled the interference effect on optical anisotropy, which is critical for practical applications in optical and optoelectronic devices. A multi-phase model based on the scattering matrix method was developed to account for the interference effect and then the crystallographic directions were unambiguously determined. Our result also suggests that the optical anisotropy is a probe to measure the thickness with monolayer resolution. Furthermore, the optical anisotropy of rhenium disulfide (ReS2), another class of anisotropic 2D materials, with a 1T distorted crystal structure, was investigated, which demonstrates that our approach is suitable for other anisotropic 2D materials. This technique is ideal for optical anisotropy characterization and will inspire future efforts in BP and related anisotropic 2D nanomaterials for engineering new conceptual nanodevices.

Graphical abstract: Resolving the optical anisotropy of low-symmetry 2D materials

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Publication details

The article was received on 10 Dec 2017, accepted on 26 Mar 2018 and first published on 27 Mar 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7NR09173G
Citation: Nanoscale, 2018,10, 8329-8337

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    Resolving the optical anisotropy of low-symmetry 2D materials

    W. Shen, C. Hu, J. Tao, J. Liu, S. Fan, Y. Wei, C. An, J. Chen, S. Wu, Y. Li, J. Liu, D. Zhang, L. Sun and X. Hu, Nanoscale, 2018, 10, 8329
    DOI: 10.1039/C7NR09173G

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