Electron-Beam- and Thermal-Annealing-Induced Structural Transformations in Few-Layer MnPS3

Alexander Storm*, Janis Köster, Mahdi Ghorbani-Asl, Silvan Kretschmer, Tatiana E. Gorelik, Michael Kiarie Kinyanjui, Arkady V. Krasheninnikov, Ute Kaiser*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Quasi-two-dimensional (2D) manganese phosphorus trisulfide, MnPS3, which exhibits antiferromagnetic ordering, is a particularly interesting material in the context of magnetism in a system with reduced dimensionality and its potential technological applications. Here, we present an experimental and theoretical study on modifying the properties of freestanding MnPS3 by local structural transformations via electron irradiation in a transmission electron microscope and by thermal annealing under vacuum. In both cases we find that MnS1-xPx phases (0 ≤ x < 1) form in a crystal structure different from that of the host material, namely that of the α- or γ-MnS type. These phase transformations can both be locally controlled by the size of the electron beam as well as by the total applied electron dose and simultaneously imaged at the atomic scale. For the MnS structures generated in this process, our ab initio calculations indicate that their electronic and magnetic properties strongly depend on both in-plane crystallite orientation and thickness. Moreover, the electronic properties of the MnS phases can be further tuned by alloying with phosphorus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4250-4260
Number of pages11
JournalACS Nano
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • 3D electron diffraction
  • MnPS
  • modification,
  • structural transformations
  • thermal annealing
  • α-MnS
  • γ-MnS


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