Near–atomic-scale observation of grain boundaries in a layer-stacked two-dimensional polymer

Haoyuan Qi, Hafeesudeen Sahabudeen, Baokun Liang, Miroslav Položij, Matthew A. Addicoat, Tatiana E. Gorelik, Mike Hambsch, Manuel Mundszinger, Sang Wook Park, Bettina V. Lotsch, Stefan C.B. Mannsfeld, Zhikun Zheng, Renhao Dong, Thomas Heine, Xinliang Feng, Ute Kaiser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Two-dimensional (2D) polymers, hold great promise in the rational materials design tailored for next-generation applications. However, little is known about the grain boundaries in 2D polymers, not to mention their formation mechanisms and potential influences on the material’s functionalities. Using aberration-corrected high-resolution transmission electron microscopy, we present a direct observation of the grain boundaries in a layer-stacked 2D polyimine with a resolution of 2.3 Å, shedding light on their formation mechanisms. We found that the polyimine growth followed a “birth-and-spread” mechanism. Antiphase boundaries implemented a self-correction to the missing-linker and missing-node defects, and tilt boundaries were formed via grain coalescence. Notably, we identified grain boundary reconstructions featuring closed rings at tilt boundaries. Quantum mechanical calculations revealed that boundary reconstruction is energetically allowed and can be generalized into different 2D polymer systems. We envisage that these results may open up the opportunity for future investigations on defect-property correlations in 2D polymers.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereabb5976
JournalScience Advances
Issue number33
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Aug

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© 2020 The Authors

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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