Edge-to-Edge Oriented Self-Assembly of ReS2 Nanoflakes

The self-assembly of two-dimensional (2D) nanomaterials, an emerging research area, still remains largely unexplored. The strong interlayer attraction between 2D nanosheets leads to face-to-face stacking rather than edge-to-edge coupling. We demonstrate, for the first time, how one can induce and control an edge-to-edge self-assembly process for 2D nanomaterials. The extremely weak van der Waals coupling and strong anisotropy of ReS2 allow us to realize an oriented self-assembly (OSA) process. The aspect ratio of the resulting ReS2 nanoscrolls can be well controlled. In addition, we perform simulations to further explain and confirm the OSA process, demonstrating its great potential to be expanded as a general edge-to-edge self-assembly process suitable for other 2D nanomaterials.