Near-unity photoluminescence quantum yield in MoS2

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Science  27 Nov 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6264, pp. 1065-1068
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad2114

Brighter molybdenum layers

The confined layers of molybdenum disulphide (MoS2) exhibit photoluminescence that is attractive for optolectronic applications. In practice, efficiencies are low, presumably because defects trap excitons before they can recombine and radiate light. Amani et al. show that treatment of monolayer MoS2 with a nonoxidizing organic superacid, bis(trifluoromethane) sulfonimide, increased luminescence efficiency in excess of 95%. The enhancement mechanism may be related to the shielding of defects, such as sulfur vacancies.

Science, this issue p. 1065


Two-dimensional (2D) transition metal dichalcogenides have emerged as a promising material system for optoelectronic applications, but their primary figure of merit, the room-temperature photoluminescence quantum yield (QY), is extremely low. The prototypical 2D material molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) is reported to have a maximum QY of 0.6%, which indicates a considerable defect density. Here we report on an air-stable, solution-based chemical treatment by an organic superacid, which uniformly enhances the photoluminescence and minority carrier lifetime of MoS2 monolayers by more than two orders of magnitude. The treatment eliminates defect-mediated nonradiative recombination, thus resulting in a final QY of more than 95%, with a longest-observed lifetime of 10.8 ± 0.6 nanoseconds. Our ability to obtain optoelectronic monolayers with near-perfect properties opens the door for the development of highly efficient light-emitting diodes, lasers, and solar cells based on 2D materials.

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