Dynamical observations on the crack tip zone and stress corrosion of two-dimensional MoS 2

Thuc Hue Ly, Jiong Zhao, Magdalena Ola Cichocka, Lain Jong Li, Young Hee Lee

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


Whether and how fracture mechanics needs to be modified for small length scales and in systems of reduced dimensionality remains an open debate. Here, employing in situ transmission electron microscopy, atomic structures and dislocation dynamics in the crack tip zone of a propagating crack in two-dimensional (2D) monolayer MoS 2 membrane are observed, and atom-to-atom displacement mapping is obtained. The electron beam is used to initiate the crack; during in situ observation of crack propagation the electron beam effect is minimized. The observed high-frequency emission of dislocations is beyond previous understanding of the fracture of brittle MoS 2. Strain analysis reveals dislocation emission to be closely associated with the crack propagation path in nanoscale. The critical crack tip plastic zone size of nearly perfect 2D MoS 2 is between 2 and 5 nm, although it can grow to 10 nm under corrosive conditions such as ultraviolet light exposure, showing enhanced dislocation activity via defect generation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number14116
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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