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Prospects of Two-Dimensional Devices: Electrical and Optical Characterization of Transition Metal Dichalcogenide Films


Understanding the electrical and optical properties of 2D materials down to their monolayer limit is important for establishing their potential for novel applications. Prominent among 2D materials are transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), such as MoS2 and MoSe2. These materials have attracted attention because of their intriguing properties, such as a transition from an indirect bandgap for few layers to a direct bandgap for monolayers.1, 2 New synthetic routes like chemical vapor deposition (CVD) allow for high-quality, centimeter-scale growth and tuning of the direct optical gap continuously between the values of single-layer MoS2 (1.87eV) and MoSe2 (1.55eV).4-6

In the first part of this work, we perform optoelectronic measurements of alloy devices fabricated on CVD-grown, monolayer MoS2, MoS2(1-x)Se2x, and MoSe2 islands. For all alloy compositions there is an unusual superlinear dependence of the photocurrent on light intensity. We also establish the photoconductive nature of the photoresponse, with the photocurrent originating from recombination and field-induced carrier separation in the channel.

The study of transport characteristics of TMDs is extended to explore the effects of devices on a piezoelectric substrate as a route towards establishing fabrication processes suited for industry. In this work, we show that CVD-growth of MoS2 monolayer films onto periodically poled lithium niobate is possible while maintaining the substrate polarization pattern. Electrical transport measurements indicate an inversion of the MoS2 from n-type to p-type behavior under application of an external voltage depending on the domain orientation of the ferroelectric substrate. Sensitivity to ferroelectric substrate polarization opens the possibility for ferroelectric nonvolatile gating of TMDs in scalable devices fabricated free of exfoliation and transfer.

Optimizing CVD techniques allows for preparation of TMD films in different phases that are reported to exhibit semiconducting and metallic properties. Here, we show optical and electronic characterization of few-layer films of MoTe2 in three distinct structural phases: 2H, 1T’ and 1T. Depending on process parameters, either of the phases can be prepared using MoO3 and elemental tellurium precursors. Experimental and computed Raman spectra are presented for each phase. Transport measurements validate predictions from DFT-based band structure calculations on the metallic character of the centrosymmetric 1T phase.

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