Ultralow-Frequency Collective Compression Mode and Strong Interlayer Coupling in Multilayer Black Phosphorus

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The recent renaissance of black phosphorus (BP) as a two-dimensional (2D) layered material has generated tremendous interest, but its unique structural characters underlying many of its outstanding properties still need elucidation. Here we report Raman measurements that reveal an ultralow-frequency collective compression mode (CCM) in BP, which is unprecedented among similar 2D layered materials. This novel CCM indicates an unusually strong interlayer coupling, and this result is quantitatively supported by a phonon frequency analysis and first-principles calculations. Moreover, the CCM and another branch of low-frequency Raman modes shift sensitively with changing number of layers, allowing an accurate determination of the thickness up to tens of atomic layers, which is considerably higher than previously achieved by using high-frequency Raman modes. These findings offer fundamental insights and practical tools for further exploration of BP as a highly promising new 2D semiconductor. © 2016 American Physical Society.

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