A Facile Space-Confined Solid-Phase Sulfurization Strategy for Growth of High-Quality Ultrathin Molybdenum Disulfide Single Crystals

Dawei Li, Zhiyong Xiao, Sai Mu, Fei Wang, Ying Liu, Jingfeng Song, Xi Huang, Lijia Jiang, Jun Xiao, Lei Liu, Stephen Ducharme, Bai Cui, Xia Hong, Lan Jiang, Jean Francois Silvain, Yongfeng Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Single-crystal transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) and TMD-based heterojunctions have recently attracted significant research and industrial interest owing to their intriguing optical and electrical properties. However, the lack of a simple, low-cost, environmentally friendly, synthetic method and a poor understanding of the growth mechanism post a huge challenge to implementing TMDs in practical applications. In this work, we developed a novel approach for direct formation of high-quality, monolayer and few-layer MoS2 single crystal domains via a single-step rapid thermal processing of a sandwiched reactor with sulfur and molybdenum (Mo) film in a confined reaction space. An all-solid-phase growth mechanism was proposed and experimentally/theoretically evidenced by analyzing the surface potential and morphology mapping. Compared with the conventional chemical vapor deposition approaches, our method involves no complicated gas-phase reactant transfer or reactions and requires very small amount of solid precursors [e.g., Mo (∼3 μg)], no carrier gas, no pretreatment of the precursor, no complex equipment design, thereby facilitating a simple, low-cost, and environmentally friendly growth. Moreover, we examined the symmetry, defects, and stacking phase in as-grown MoS2 samples using simultaneous second-harmonic-/sum-frequency-generation (SHG/SFG) imaging. For the first time, we observed that the SFG (peak intensity/position) polarization can be used as a sensitive probe to identify the orientation of TMDs' crystallographic axes. Furthermore, we fabricated ferroelectric programmable Schottky junction devices via local domain patterning using the as-grown, single-crystal monolayer MoS2, revealing their great potential in logic and optoelectronic applications. Our strategy thus provides a simple, low-cost, and scalable path toward a wide variety of TMD single crystal growth and novel functional device design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2021-2032
Number of pages12
JournalNano Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 14 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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