Mechanical instability driven self-assembly and architecturing of 2D materials

Michael Cai Wang, Juyoung Leem, Pilgyu Kang, Jonghyun Choi, Peter Knapp, Keong Yong, Sung Woo Nam

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Two-dimensional (2D) materials have been well studied for their diverse and impressive properties and superlative mechanical strength. Their atomic thinness and weak van der Waals interaction, while fascinating and unique, dictate their tendency to exhibit out of plane morphologies such as bending, buckling, folding, rippling, scrolling, and wrinkling, etc. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms behind these instability driven morphologies and the resultant phenomena that arise. We then survey methods to manipulate them especially in a scalable manner, and elucidate some interesting applications uniquely enabled by these structures. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the deterministic control of these features has great implications for the local and overall material properties due to heterogeneous distribution of stresses and strains. The introduction of deformable and shape memory substrates especially allow for facile and large scale synthesis of various types of out of plane morphologies. We show that a variety of exciting phenomena and applications arise, including tunable surfaces and coatings, robust devices and electronics, adaptive optoelectronics, material toughening, energy storage, and chemical sensing. This new perspective on these otherwise nuisance thin-film phenomena enable new tools for future materials discovery, design, and synthesis with the ever growing library of 2D atomically thin materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number022002
Journal2D Materials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2017


  • Architectured materials
  • Deformable
  • Mechanical instability
  • Reconfigurability
  • Stretchable electronics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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