Hyperuniform many-body systems in d-dimensional Euclidean space Rd are characterized by completely suppressed (normalized) infinite-wavelength density fluctuations, and appear to be endowed with novel exotic physical properties. Recently, hyperuniform systems of disordered varieties have been observed in the context of various atomic-scale two-dimensional (2D) materials. In this work, we analyze the effects of localized defects on the density fluctuations across length scales and on the hyperuniformity property of experimental samples of 2D transition metal dichalcogenides. In particular, we extract atomic coordinates from time series annular dark field-scanning transmission electron microscopy imaging data of 2D tungsten chalcogenides with the 2H structure (Te-doped 2H-WSe2) showing continuous development and evolution of electron-beam-induced defects, and construct the corresponding chemical-bonding informed coordination networks between the atoms. We then compute a variety of pair statistics and bond-orientational statistics to characterize the samples. At low defect concentrations, the corresponding materials are nearly hyperuniform, characterized by significantly suppressed scattering at the zero wave-number limit (omitting forward/ballistic scattering). As more defects are introduced, the (approximate) hyperuniformity of the materials is gradually destroyed, and the system becomes nonhyperuniform even when the material still contains a significant amount of crystalline regions. At high defect concentrations, the structures become antihyperuniform with diverging (normalized) large-scale density fluctuations, mimicking those typically observed at the thermal critical points associated with phase transitions. Overall, the defected materials possess varying degrees of orientation order, and there is apparently no intermediate hexatic phase emerging. To understand the observed nearly hyperuniform density fluctuations in the slightly defected materials, we construct a minimalist structural model and demonstrate that the experimental samples can be essentially viewed as perturbed honeycomb crystals with small correlated displacements and double chalcogen vacancies. Moreover, the small correlated displacements alone can significantly degrade hyperuniformity of the perfect honeycomb structure. Therefore, even a small amount of vacancies, when coupled with correlated displacements, can completely destroy hyperuniformity of the system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics