Smart molecular/MoS2 Heterostructures Featuring Light and Thermally-Induced Strain Driven by Spin Switching

In this work we exploit the ability of spin-crossover molecules to switch between two spin states, upon the application of external stimuli, to prepare smart molecular/2D heterostructures. Through the chemical design of the hybrid interface, that involves a covalent grafting between the two components, we obtain a hybrid heterostructure formed by spin-crossover nanoparticles anchored on chemically functionalized monolayers of semiconducting MoS2. In the resulting hybrid, the strain generated by the molecular system over the MoS2 layer, as a consequence of a thermal or light-induced spin switching, results in a dramatic and reversible change of its electrical and optical properties. This novel class of smart molecular/2D heterostructures could open the way towards a novel generation of hybrid multifunctional materials and devices of direct application in highly topical fields like electronics, spintronics or molecular sensing.