Hierarchical, Dual-Scale Structures of Atomically Thin MoS2 for Tunable Wetting

Jonghyun Choi, Jihun Mun, Michael Cai Wang, Ali Ashraf, Sang Woo Kang, Sung Woo Nam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), a well-known solid lubricant for low friction surface coatings, has recently drawn attention as an analogue two-dimensional (2D) material beyond graphene. When patterned to produce vertically grown, nanoflower-structures, MoS2 shows promise as a functional material for hydrogen evolution catalysis systems, electrodes for alkali metal-ion batteries, and field-emission arrays. Whereas the wettability of graphene has been substantially investigated, that of MoS2 structures, especially nanoflowers, has remained relatively unexplored despite MoS2 nanoflower’s potential in future applications. Here, we demonstrate that the wettability of MoS2 can be controlled by multiscale modulation of surface roughness through (1) tuning of the nanoflower structures by chemical vapor deposition synthesis and (2) tuning of microscale topography via mechanical strain. This multiscale modulation offers broadened tunability (80-155°) compared to single-scale tuning (90-130°). In addition, surface adhesion, determined from contact angle hysteresis (CAH), can also be tuned by multiscale surface roughness modulation, where the CAH is changed in range of 20-40°. Finally, the wettability of crumpled MoS2 nanoflowers can be dynamically and reversibly controlled through applied strain (∼115-150° with 0-200% strain), and remains robust over 1000 strain cycles. These studies on the tunable wettability of MoS2 will contribute to future MoS2-based applications, such as tunable wettability coatings for desalination and hydrogen evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1756-1761
Number of pages6
JournalNano letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 8 2017


  • Molybdenum disulfide (MoS)
  • crumples
  • hierarchical patterning
  • nanoflowers
  • surface coatings
  • tunable wettability
  • two-dimensional (2D) materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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