Surfactant-Mediated Growth and Patterning of Atomically Thin Transition Metal Dichalcogenides
American Chemical Society (ACS) Nano 2020, 14, 6, 6570–6581
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.