Intentional carbon doping reveals CH as an abundant charged impurity in nominally undoped synthetic WS2 and WSe2

K. A. Cochrane, T. Zhang, A. Kozhakhmetov, J. H. Lee, F. Zhang, C. Dong, J. B. Neaton, J. A. Robinson, M. Terrones, A. Weber Bargioni, B. Schuler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Understanding the physical properties and controlling the generation of intrinsic and extrinsic defects is central to the technological adoption of 2D materials in devices. Here we identify a charged carbon-hydrogen complex at a chalcogen site (CHX) as a common, charged impurity in synthetically grown transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs). This conclusion is drawn by comparing high resolution scanning probe microscopy measurements of nominally undoped and intentionally carbon doped TMD samples. While CH impurity densities in undoped CVD-grown WS2 and MOCVD-grown WSe2 can range anywhere from parts per million to parts per thousand, CH densities in the percentage levels were selectively generated by a post-synthetic methane plasma treatment. Our study indicates that methane plasma treatment is a selective and clean method for the controlled introduction of a charged carbon-hydrogen complex at a surface chalcogen site, a defect that is commonly present in synthetic TMDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number031003
Journal2D Materials
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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