Congratulations to Yang Zhong, Lenan Zhang, Samuel Cruz and their collaborators for their recent work, A unified approach and descriptor for the thermal expansion of two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenide monolayers, which was featured on MIT News.
Two-dimensional (2D) materials have enabled promising applications in modern miniaturized devices. However, device operation may lead to substantial temperature rise and thermal stress, resulting in device failure. To address such thermal challenges, the thermal expansion coefficient (TEC) needs to be well understood. Here, we characterize the in-plane TECs of transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) monolayers and demonstrate superior accuracy using a three-substrate approach. Our measurements confirm the physical range of 2D monolayer TECs and, hence, address the more than two orders of magnitude discrepancy in literature. Moreover, we identify the thermochemical electronegativity difference of compositional elements as a descriptor, enabling the fast estimation of TECs for various TMD monolayers. Our work presents a unified approach and descriptor for the thermal expansion of TMD monolayers, which can serve as a guideline toward the rational design of reliable 2D devices.