Robust epitaxial growth of two-dimensional heterostructures, multiheterostructures, and superlattices

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Science  25 Aug 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6353, pp. 788-792
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan6814

Cycling 2D crystal growth

The electronic and optical properties of two-dimensional (2D) transitional metal dichalcogenides such as MoS2 and WSe2 could be modulated by creating in-plane superlattices and heterostructures from these materials. However, single layers of these materials are fragile and often do not withstand the processing conditions needed during subsequent growth steps. Zhang et al. developed a reverse-flow reactor that avoids thermal degradation and unwanted crystal nucleation. They demonstrate several examples of block-by-block epitaxial growth, such as 2D heterostructures where MoS2 surrounds a WS2 core and superlattices where the composition alternates between WS2 and WSe2.

Science, this issue p. 788


We report a general synthetic strategy for highly robust growth of diverse lateral heterostructures, multiheterostructures, and superlattices from two-dimensional (2D) atomic crystals. A reverse flow during the temperature-swing stage in the sequential vapor deposition growth process allowed us to cool the existing 2D crystals to prevent undesired thermal degradation and uncontrolled homogeneous nucleation, thus enabling highly robust block-by-block epitaxial growth. Raman and photoluminescence mapping studies showed that a wide range of 2D heterostructures (such as WS2-WSe2 and WS2-MoSe2), multiheterostructures (such as WS2-WSe2-MoS2 and WS2-MoSe2-WSe2), and superlattices (such as WS2-WSe2-WS2-WSe2-WS2) were readily prepared with precisely controlled spatial modulation. Transmission electron microscope studies showed clear chemical modulation with atomically sharp interfaces. Electrical transport studies of WSe2-WS2 lateral junctions showed well-defined diode characteristics with a rectification ratio up to 105.

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