Strain-induced phonon shifts in tungsten disulfide nanoplatelets and nanotubes

Fang Wang, Ian Kinloch, Daniel Wolverson, Reshef Tenne, Alla Zak, Eoghan O'Connell, Ursel Bangert, Robert Young

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The relationship between structure and properties has been followed for different nanoscale forms of tungsten disulfide (2H-WS2) namely exfoliated monolayer and few-layer nanoplatelets, and nanotubes. The similarities and differences between these nanostructured materials have been examined using a combination of optical microscopy, scanning and high-resolution transmission
electron microscopy (SEM and HRTEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Photoluminescence (PL) and Raman spectroscopy have also been used to distinguish between monolayer and few-layer material. Strain induced phonon shifts have been followed from the changes in the positions of the A1g and E2g1
Raman bands during uniaxial deformation. This has been modelled for monolayer using density functional theory (DFT) with excellent agreement between the measured and predicted behaviour. It has been found that as the number of WS2 layers increases for few-layer crystals or nanotubes, the A1g mode hardens whereas the E2g1 mode softens. This is believed to be due to the
A1g mode, which involves out of plane atomic movements, being constrained by the increasing number of WS2 layers whereas easy sliding reduces stress transfer to the individual layers for the E2g1mode, involving only in-plane vibrations. This finding has enabled the anomalous phonon shift behaviour in earlier pressure measurements on WS2 to be resolved, as well as similar effects in other
transition metal dichalcogenides, such as molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), to be explained.
Original languageEnglish
Article number015007
Journal2D Materials
Issue number1
Early online date28 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • Tungsten disulfide
  • nanotubes
  • deformation
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • photoluminescence
  • transmission electron microscopy
  • density functional theory


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