Distinctive in-Plane Cleavage Behaviors of Two-Dimensional Layered Materials

Yao Guo, Chunru Liu, Qifang Yin, Chengrong Wei, Shenghuang Lin, Tim B. Hoffman, Yuda Zhao, J. H. Edgar, Qing Chen, Shu Ping Lau, Junfeng Dai, Haimin Yao, H. S.Philip Wong, Yang Chai

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


Mechanical exfoliation from bulk layered crystal is widely used for preparing two-dimensional (2D) layered materials, which involves not only out-of-plane interlayer cleavage but also in-plane fracture. Through a statistical analysis on the exfoliated 2D flakes, we reveal the in-plane cleavage behaviors of six representative layered materials, including graphene, h-BN, 2H phase MoS2, 1T phase PtS2, FePS3, and black phosphorus. In addition to the well-known interlayer cleavage, these 2D layered materials show a distinctive tendency to fracture along certain in-plane crystallography orientations. With theoretical modeling and analysis, these distinct in-plane cleavage behaviors can be understood as a result of the competition between the release of the elastic energy and the increase of the surface energy during the fracture process. More importantly, these in-plane cleavage behaviors provide a fast and noninvasive method using optical microscopy to identify the lattice direction of mechanical exfoliated 2D layered materials.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8980-8988
Number of pages9
JournalACS Nano
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sept 2016


  • anisotropy
  • graphene
  • in-plane cleavage
  • transition metal dichalcogenides
  • two-dimensional layered materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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