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Title: Emergent layer stacking arrangements in c-axis confined MoTe2

The layer stacking order in 2D materials strongly affects functional properties and holds promise for next-generation electronic devices. In bulk, octahedral MoTe2possesses two stacking arrangements, the ferroelectric Weyl semimetal Tdphase and the higher-order topological insulator 1T′ phase. However, in thin flakes of MoTe2, it is unclear if the layer stacking follows the Td, 1T′, or an alternative stacking sequence. Here, we use atomic-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy to directly visualize the MoTe2layer stacking. In thin flakes, we observe highly disordered stacking, with nanoscale 1T′ and Tddomains, as well as alternative stacking arrangements not found in the bulk. We attribute these findings to intrinsic confinement effects on the MoTe2stacking-dependent free energy. Our results are important for the understanding of exotic physics displayed in MoTe2flakes. More broadly, this work suggestsc-axis confinement as a method to influence layer stacking in other 2D materials.

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Nature Communications
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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