Evaporative thinning: A facile synthesis method for high quality ultrathin layers of 2D crystals

Yi Kai Huang, Jeffrey D. Cain, Lintao Peng, Shiqiang Hao, Thomas Chasapis, Mercouri Kanatzidis, Christopher M Wolverton, Matthew A Grayson, Vinayak P Dravid*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The palette of two-dimensional materials has expanded beyond graphene in recent years to include the chalcogenides among other systems. However, there is a considerable paucity of methods for controlled synthesis of mono- and/or few-layer two-dimensional materials with desirable quality, reproducibility, and generality. Here we show a facile top-down synthesis approach for ultrathin layers of 2D materials down to monolayer. Our method is based on controlled evaporative thinning of initially large sheets, as deposited by vapor mass-transport. Rather than optimizing conditions for monolayer deposition, our approach makes use of selective evaporation of thick sheets to control the eventual thickness, down to a monolayer, a process which appears to be self-stopping. As a result, 2D sheets with high yield, high reproducibility, and excellent quality can be generated with large (>10 μm) and thin (∼1-2 nm) dimensions. Evaporative thinning promises to greatly reduce the difficulty involved in isolating large, mono- and few-layers of 2D materials for subsequent studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10851-10857
Number of pages7
JournalACS Nano
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • 2D synthesis
  • bismuth selenide
  • transmission electron microscopy
  • two-dimensional (2D) materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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