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The Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Madrid (ICMM) is an institute of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC) (Spanish National Research Council) founded in December 1986, that belongs to the Area of Science and Technology of Materials, one of the eight Areas in which the CSIC divides its research activities.


Our mission is to create new fundamental and applied knowledge in materials of high technological impact, their processing and their transfer to the productive sectors at local, national and European scales (the true value of materials is in their use), the training of new professionals, and the dissemination of the scientific knowledge.

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Microheater Actuators as a Versatile Platform for Strain Engineering in 2D Materials

Ryu Y.K., Carrascoso F., López-Nebreda R., Agraït N., Frisenda R., Castellanos-Gomez A.

We present microfabricated thermal actuators to engineer the biaxial strain in two-dimensional (2D) materials. These actuators are based on microheater circuits patterned onto the surface of a polymer with a high thermal expansion coefficient. By running current through the microheater one can vary the temperature of the polymer and induce a controlled biaxial expansion of its surface. This controlled biaxial expansion can be transduced to biaxial strain to 2D materials, placed onto the polymer surface, which in turn induces a shift of the optical spectrum. Our thermal strain actuators can reach a maximum biaxial strain of 0.64%, and they can be modulated at frequencies up to 8 Hz. The compact geometry of these actuators results in a negligible spatial drift of 0.03 μm/°C, which facilitates their integration in optical spectroscopy measurements. We illustrate the potential of this strain engineering platform to fabricate a strain-actuated optical modulator with single-layer MoS2.

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(a) Reflection (left) and transmission (right) mode optical image of a MoS2 flake transferred onto the middle of a micro-heater actuator. (b) Differential reflectance spectra of the trilayer MoS2 region at 0% and 0.21% of strain.

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