Effect of strain on electronic and thermoelectric properties of few layers to bulk MoS$_{2}$

The sensitive dependence of electronic and thermoelectric properties of MoS$_2$ on the applied strain opens up a variety of applications in the emerging area of straintronics. Using first principles based density functional theory calculations, we show that the band gap of few layers of MoS$_2$ can be tuned by applying i) normal compressive (NC), ii) biaxial compressive (BC), and iii) biaxial tensile (BT) strain. A reversible semiconductor to metal transition (S-M transition) is observed under all three types of strain. In the case of NC strain, the threshold strain at which S-M transition occurs increases with increasing number of layers and becomes maximum for the bulk. On the other hand, the threshold strain for S-M transition in both BC and BT strain decreases with the increase in number of layers. The difference in the mechanisms for the S-M transition is explained for different types of applied strain. Furthermore, the effect of strain type and number of layers on the transport properties are also studied using Botzmann transport theory. We optimize the transport properties as a function of number of layers and applied strain. 3L- and 2L-MoS$_2$ emerge as the most efficient thermoelectric material under NC and BT strain, respectively. The calculated thermopower is large and comparable to some of the best thermoelectric materials. A comparison between the feasibility of these three types of strain is also discussed.

Comments: 18 pages, 7 figures

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