Nickel particle–enabled width-controlled growth of bilayer molybdenum disulfide nanoribbons
Transition metal dichalcogenides exhibit a variety of electronic behaviors depending on the number of layers and width. Therefore, developing facile methods for their controllable synthesis is of central importance. We found that nickel nanoparticles promote both heterogeneous nucleation of the first layer of molybdenum disulfide and simultaneously catalyzes homoepitaxial tip growth of a second layer via a vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) mechanism, resulting in bilayer nanoribbons with width controlled by the nanoparticle diameter. Simulations further confirm the VLS growth mechanism toward nanoribbons and its orders of magnitude higher growth speed compared to the conventional noncatalytic growth of flakes. Width-dependent Coulomb blockade oscillation observed in the transfer characteristics of the nanoribbons at temperatures up to 60 K evidences the value of this proposed synthesis strategy for future nanoelectronics.