Substrate-directed synthesis of MoS2 nanocrystals with tunable dimensionality and optical properties

Tomojit Chowdhury, Jungkil Kim, Erick C. Sadler, Chenyang Li, Seong Won Lee, Kiyoung Jo, Weinan Xu, David H. Gracias, Natalia V. Drichko, Deep Jariwala, Todd H. Brintlinger, Tim Mueller, Hong Gyu Park, Thomas J. Kempa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


Two-dimensional transition-metal dichalcogenide (TMD) crystals are a versatile platform for optoelectronic, catalytic and quantum device studies. However, the ability to tailor their physical properties through explicit synthetic control of their morphology and dimensionality is a major challenge. Here we demonstrate a gas-phase synthesis method that substantially transforms the structure and dimensionality of TMD crystals without lithography. Synthesis of MoS2 on Si(001) surfaces pre-treated with phosphine yields high-aspect-ratio nanoribbons of uniform width. We systematically control the width of these nanoribbons between 50 and 430 nm by varying the total phosphine dosage during the surface treatment step. Aberration-corrected electron microscopy reveals that the nanoribbons are predominantly 2H phase with zig-zag edges and an edge quality that is comparable to, or better than, that of graphene and TMD nanoribbons prepared through conventional top-down processing. Owing to their restricted dimensionality, the nominally one-dimensional MoS2 nanocrystals exhibit photoluminescence 50 meV higher in energy than that from two-dimensional MoS2 crystals. Moreover, this emission is precisely tunable through synthetic control of crystal width. Directed crystal growth on designer substrates has the potential to enable the preparation of low-dimensional materials with prescribed morphologies and tunable or emergent optoelectronic properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-34
Number of pages6
JournalNature Nanotechnology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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