The role of additives in facilitating the growth of conventional semiconducting thin films is well-established. Apparently, their presence is also decisive in the growth of two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), yet their role remains ambiguous. In this work, we show that the use of sodium bromide enables synthesis of TMD monolayers via a surfactant-mediated growth mechanism, without introducing liquefaction of metal oxide precursors. We discovered that sodium ions provided by sodium bromide chemically passivate edges of growing molybdenum disulfide crystals, relaxing in-plane strains to suppress 3D islanding and promote monolayer growth. To exploit this growth model, molybdenum disulfide monolayers were directly grown into desired patterns using predeposited sodium bromide as a removable template. The surfactant-mediated growth not only extends the families of metal oxide precursors but also offers a way for lithography-free patterning of TMD monolayers on various surfaces to facilitate fabrication of atomically thin electronic devices.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)