Considerations for Utilizing Sodium Chloride in Epitaxial Molybdenum Disulfide

Kehao Zhang, Brian M. Bersch, Fu Zhang, Natalie C. Briggs, Shruti Subramanian, Ke Xu, Mikhail Chubarov, Ke Wang, Jordan O. Lerach, Joan M. Redwing, Susan K. Fullerton-Shirey, Mauricio Terrones, Joshua A. Robinson

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50 Scopus citations


The utilization of alkali salts, such as NaCl and KI, has enabled the successful growth of large single domain and fully coalesced polycrystalline two-dimensional (2D) transition-metal dichalcogenide layers. However, the impact of alkali salts on photonic and electronic properties is not fully established. In this work, we report alkali-free epitaxy of MoS2 on sapphire and benchmark the properties against alkali-assisted growth of MoS2. This study demonstrates that although NaCl can dramatically increase the domain size of monolayer MoS2 by 20 times, it can also induce strong optical and electronic heterogeneities in as-grown, large-scale films. This work elucidates that utilization of NaCl can lead to variation in growth rates, loss of epitaxy, and high density of nanoscale MoS2 particles (4 ± 0.7/μm2). Such phenomena suggest that alkali atoms play an important role in Mo and S adatom mobility and strongly influence the 2D/sapphire interface during growth. Compared to alkali-free synthesis under the same growth conditions, MoS2 growth assisted by NaCl results in >1% tensile strain in as-grown domains, which reduces photoluminescence by ∼20× and degrades transistor performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40831-40837
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Issue number47
StatePublished - Nov 28 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)


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