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Department of Physics


Significant efforts developing MoS2-PbS-based heterostructure devices with several different architectures show promise for photosensor, solar cell, and chemical sensor applications. Merelaniite (Mo4Pb4VSbS15) is a newly discovered natural van der Waals heterostructure of the cylindrite type, composed predominantly of heavily modulated pseudotetragonal PbS layers and pseudohexagonal MoS2 layers with large misfit-induced anisotropy. For an incommensurate modulated structure, the refined structural model from single-crystal x-ray diffraction analysis is in reasonable agreement with the results obtained by high-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy, especially in light of the fact that that the two isolated single-crystal domains used for the x-ray and electron diffraction experiments were extracted from two different whiskers and subjected to different sample preparation methods. The effects of the misfit-induced structural anisotropy are studied using angle-resolved polarized Raman spectroscopy. The intensities of 12 Raman modes are studied as a function of incident polarization angle relative to merelaniite's whisker axis, and show maximal intensity with the polarization direction perpendicular to the whisker axis. Polarization-dependent anisotropic third-harmonic generation from ultrathin mechanically exfoliated flakes reveals the anisotropy of the third-order nonlinear susceptibility tensor. Merelaniite demonstrates an expanded structure-chemistry space for engineering stable layered materials for potential device applications.

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Published by the American Physical Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license. Publisher’s version of record:

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Physical Review Materials


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