Controlled Exfoliation of MoS2 Crystals into Trilayer Nanosheets

Xiaobin Fan, Pengtao Xu, Yuguang C. Li, Dekai Zhou, Yifan Sun, Minh An T. Nguyen, Mauricio Terrones, Thomas E. Mallouk

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Abstract

The controlled exfoliation of transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) into pristine single- or few-layer nanosheets remains a significant barrier to fundamental studies and device applications of TMDs. Here we report a novel strategy for exfoliating crystalline MoS2 into suspensions of nanosheets with retention of the semiconducting 2H phase. The controlled reaction of MoS2 with substoichiometric amounts n-butyllithium results in intercalation of the edges of the crystals, which are then readily exfoliated in a 45 vol % ethanol-water solution. Surprisingly, the resulting colloidal suspension of nanosheets was found (by electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy) to consist mostly of trilayers. The efficiency of exfoliation of the pre-intercalated sample is increased by at least 1 order of magnitude relative to the starting MoS2 microcrystals, with a mass yield of the dispersed nanosheets of 11-15%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5143-5149
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Volume138
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - May 4 2016

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry

Cite this

Fan, X., Xu, P., Li, Y. C., Zhou, D., Sun, Y., Nguyen, M. A. T., Terrones, M., & Mallouk, T. E. (2016). Controlled Exfoliation of MoS2 Crystals into Trilayer Nanosheets. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 138(15), 5143-5149. https://doi.org/10.1021/jacs.6b01502