Lattice reconstruction and corresponding strain accumulation plays a key role in defining the electronic structure of two-dimensional moiré superlattices, including those of transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs). Imaging of TMD moirés has so far provided a qualitative understanding of this relaxation process in terms of interlayer stacking energy, while models of the underlying deformation mechanisms have relied on simulations. Here, we use interferometric four-dimensional scanning transmission electron microscopy to quantitatively map the mechanical deformations through which reconstruction occurs in small-angle twisted bilayer MoS2and WSe2/MoS2heterobilayers. We provide direct evidence that local rotations govern relaxation for twisted homobilayers, while local dilations are prominent in heterobilayers possessing a sufficiently large lattice mismatch. Encapsulation of the moiré layers in hBN further localizes and enhances these in-plane reconstruction pathways by suppressing out-of-plane corrugation. We also find that extrinsic uniaxial heterostrain, which introduces a lattice constant difference in twisted homobilayers, leads to accumulation and redistribution of reconstruction strain, demonstrating another route to modify the moiré potential.more » « less
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Publisher / Repository:
- Nature Publishing Group
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Nature Communications
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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