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 G. Kanatzidis, Christopher Wolverton, Matthew Grayson, Vinayak P. Dravid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


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
Pages (from-to)10851-10857
Number of pages7
JournalACS nano
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 28 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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