Atomically-thick two-dimensional crystals: electronic structure regulation and energy device construction
Atomically-thick two-dimensional crystals can provide promising opportunities to satisfy people's requirement of next-generation flexible and transparent nanodevices. However, the characterization of these low-dimensional structures and the understanding of their clear structure–property relationship encounter many great difficulties, owing to the lack of long-range order in the third dimensionality. In this review, we survey the recent progress in fine structure characterization by X-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy and also overview electronic structure modulation by density-functional calculations in the ultrathin two-dimensional crystals. In addition, we highlight their structure–property relationship, transparent and flexible device construction as well as wide applications in photoelectrochemical water splitting, photodetectors, thermoelectric conversion, touchless moisture sensing, supercapacitors and lithium ion batteries. Finally, we outline the major challenges and opportunities that face the atomically-thick two-dimensional crystals. It is anticipated that the present review will deepen people's understanding of this field and hence contribute to guide the future design of high-efficiency energy-related devices.