Transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) represent a family of materials with versatile electronic, optical, and chemical properties. Most TMD bulk crystals are van der Waals solids with strong bonding within the plane but weak interlayer bonding. The individual layers can be readily isolated. Single layer TMDs possess intriguing properties that are ideal for both fundamental and technologically relevant research studies. We review the structure and phases of single and few layered TMDs. We also describe recent progress in phase engineering in TMDs. The ability to tune the chemistry by choosing a unique combination of transition metals and chalcogen atoms along with controlling their properties by phase engineering allows new functionalities to be realized with TMDs.
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