Strain serves as a powerful freedom to effectively, reversibly, and continuously engineer the physical and chemical properties of two-dimensional (2D) materials, such as bandgap, phase diagram, and reaction activity. Although there is a high demand for full characterization of the strain vector at local points, it is still very challenging to measure the local strain amplitude and its direction. Here, we report a novel approach to monitor the local strain vector in 2D molybdenum diselenide (MoSe2) by polarization-dependent optical second-harmonic generation (SHG). The strain amplitude can be evaluated from the SHG intensity in a sensitive way (-49% relative change per 1% strain); while the strain direction can be directly indicated by the evolution of polarization-dependent SHG pattern. In addition, we employ this technique to investigate the interlayer locking effect in 2H MoSe2 bilayers when the bottom layer is under stretching but the top layer is free. Our observation, combined with ab initio calculations, demonstrates that the noncovalent interlayer interaction in 2H MoSe2 bilayers is strong enough to transfer the strain of at least 1.4% between the bottom and top layers to prevent interlayer sliding. Our results establish that SHG is an effective approach for in situ, sensitive, and noninvasive measurement of local strain vector in noncentrosymmetric 2D materials.
- 2D materials
- second-harmonic generation