The Raman scattering of single- and few-layered WS2 is studied as a function of the number of S-W-S layers and the excitation wavelength in the visible range (488, 514 and 647 nm). For the three excitation wavelengths used in this study, the frequency of the A 1g (Γ) phonon mode monotonically decreases with the number of layers. For single-layer WS2, the 514.5 nm laser excitation generates a second-order Raman resonance involving the longitudinal acoustic mode (LA(M)). This resonance results from a coupling between the electronic band structure and lattice vibrations. First-principles calculations were used to determine the electronic and phonon band structures of single-layer and bulk WS2. The reduced intensity of the 2LA mode was then computed, as a function of the laser wavelength, from the fourth-order Fermi golden rule. Our observations establish an unambiguous and nondestructive Raman fingerprint for identifying single- and few-layered WS2 films.
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