Monolayer MoS2 and other TMDCs have been theoretically predicted to exhibit piezoelectricity due to the strain induced lattice distortion and associated ion charge polarization, suggesting possible applications of these 2D nanomaterials in nano-scale electromechanical devices that take advantage of their outstanding semiconducting and mechanical properties. Recently, the first experimental observation of piezoelectricity in single atomic layer 2D MoS2 and its application in mechanical energy harvesting and piezotronic sensing was demonstrated. Cyclic stretching and releasing of odd-layer MoS2 flakes produces oscillating electrical outputs, which converts mechanical energy into electricity. More significantly, transport measurements show a strong piezotronic effect in single-layer MoS2, but not in bilayer and bulk MoS2. The coupling between piezoelectricity and semiconducting properties in two-dimensional nanomaterials may enable the development of applications in powering nanodevices, adaptive bioprobes and tunable/stretchable electronics/optoelectronics. This effect is expected to be existing in other monolayer piezoelectric semiconductor materials.
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