Exfoliation and Raman Spectroscopic Fingerprint of Few-Layer NiPS 3 Van der Waals Crystals

Cheng Tai Kuo, Michael Neumann, Karuppannan Balamurugan, Hyun Ju Park, Soonmin Kang, Hung Wei Shiu, Jin Hyoun Kang, Byung Hee Hong, Moonsup Han, Tae Won Noh, Je Geun Park

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214 Scopus citations


The range of mechanically cleavable Van der Waals crystals covers materials with diverse physical and chemical properties. However, very few of these materials exhibit magnetism or magnetic order, and thus the provision of cleavable magnetic compounds would supply invaluable building blocks for the design of heterostructures assembled from Van der Waals crystals. Here we report the first successful isolation of monolayer and few-layer samples of the compound nickel phosphorus trisulfide (NiPS 3) by mechanical exfoliation. This material belongs to the class of transition metal phosphorus trisulfides (MPS 3), several of which exhibit antiferromagnetic order at low temperature, and which have not been reported in the form of ultrathin sheets so far. We establish layer numbers by optical bright field microscopy and atomic force microscopy, and perform a detailed Raman spectroscopic characterization of bilayer and thicker NiPS 3 flakes. Raman spectral features are strong functions of excitation wavelength and sample thickness, highlighting the important role of interlayer coupling. Furthermore, our observations provide a spectral fingerprint for distinct layer numbers, allowing us to establish a sensitive and convenient means for layer number determination.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20904
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - 15 Feb 2016


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