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Evolution of defect formation during atomically precise desulfurization of monolayer MoS2

Cited 22 time in Web of Science Cited 24 time in Scopus

Lee, Jong-Young; Kim, Jong Hun; Jung, Yeonjoon; Shin, June Chul; Lee, Yangjin; Kim, Kwanpyo; Kim, Namwon; van der Zande, Arend M.; Son, Jangyup; Lee, Gwan-Hyoung

Issue Date
Communications Materials, Vol.2 No.1, p. 80
Desulfurization of MoS2 alters its chemical and physical properties by breaking structural symmetry. Here, the atomic-scale mechanistic pathway by which this occurs is investigated during plasma etching, and changes in chemical structure and physical properties are revealed. Structural symmetry-breaking is a key strategy to modify the physical and chemical properties of two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides. However, little is known about defect formation during this process. Here, with atomic-scale microscopy, we investigate the evolution of defect formation in monolayer MoS2 exposed indirectly to hydrogen plasma. At the beginning of the treatment only top-layer sulfur atoms are removed, while vacancies and the molybdenum atomic layer are maintained. As processing continues, hexagonal-shaped nanocracks are generated along the zigzag edge during relaxation of defect-induced strain. As defect density increases, both photoluminescence and conductivity of MoS2 gradually decreases. Furthermore, MoS2 showed increased friction by 50% due to defect-induced contact stiffness. Our study reveals the details of defect formation during the desulfurization of MoS2 and helps to design the symmetry-breaking transition metal dichalcogenides, which is of relevance for applications including photocatalyst for water splitting, and Janus heterostructures.
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  • College of Engineering
  • Department of Materials Science & Engineering
Research Area 2D materials, 2D crystal structures , 2D materials and fabrication processing, Advanced battery materials, Next-generation electronic devices


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