Epitaxial growth of a monolayer WSe2-MoS2 lateral p-n junction with an atomically sharp interface

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Science  31 Jul 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6247, pp. 524-528
DOI: 10.1126/science.aab4097

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Electronic junctions on edge

Two-dimensional materials such as graphene are attractive materials for making smaller transistors because they are inherently nanoscale and can carry high currents. However, graphene has no band gap and the transistors are “leaky”; that is, they are hard to turn off. Related transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) such as molybdenum sulfide have band gaps. Transistors based on these materials can have high ratios of “on” to “off” currents. However, it is often difficult to make a good voltage-biased (p-n) junction between different TMDC materials. Li et al. succeeded in making p-n heterojunctions between two of these materials, molybdenum sulfide and tungsten selenide. They did this not by stacking the layers, which make a weak junction, but by growing molybdenum sulfide on the edge of a triangle of tungsten selenide with an atomically sharp boundary

Science, this issue p. 524


Two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) such as molybdenum sulfide MoS2 and tungsten sulfide WSe2 have potential applications in electronics because they exhibit high on-off current ratios and distinctive electro-optical properties. Spatially connected TMDC lateral heterojunctions are key components for constructing monolayer p-n rectifying diodes, light-emitting diodes, photovoltaic devices, and bipolar junction transistors. However, such structures are not readily prepared via the layer-stacking techniques, and direct growth favors the thermodynamically preferred TMDC alloys. We report the two-step epitaxial growth of lateral WSe2-MoS2 heterojunction, where the edge of WSe2 induces the epitaxial MoS2 growth despite a large lattice mismatch. The epitaxial growth process offers a controllable method to obtain lateral heterojunction with an atomically sharp interface.

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