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Phase transitions in 2D materials

Abstract

The discovery and control of new phases of matter is a central endeavour in materials research. The emergence of atomically thin 2D materials, such as transition-metal dichalcogenides and monochalcogenides, has allowed the study of diffusive, displacive and quantum phase transitions in 2D. In this Review, we discuss the thermodynamic and kinetic features of 2D phase transitions arising from dimensionality confinement, elasticity, electrostatics, defects and chemistry unique to 2D materials. We highlight polymorphic, ferroic and high-temperature diffusive phase changes, and examine the technological potential of controlled 2D phase transitions. Finally, we give an outlook to future opportunities in the study and applications of 2D phase transitions, and identify key challenges that remain to be addressed.

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Fig. 1: Timeline of key developments in the study of 2D phase transitions.
Fig. 2: Distinct features of phase transitions in 2D materials.
Fig. 3: Polymorphic transitions in 2D transition-metal dichalcogenides.
Fig. 4: Ferroic phase transitions in 2D materials.
Fig. 5: 2D or 2D-templated diffusive phase transitions.
Fig. 6: New device applications of 2D phase-change materials.

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Acknowledgements

J.L. acknowledges support by NSF DMR-1923976. X.Q. acknowledges support by NSF DMR-1753054. W.L. is grateful for the support by NSFC under project no. 62004172, Westlake Multidisciplinary Research Initiative Center (MRIC) under award no. 20200101 and Westlake University HPC Center. We thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions.

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Li, W., Qian, X. & Li, J. Phase transitions in 2D materials. Nat Rev Mater 6, 829–846 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41578-021-00304-0

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