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.
(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.