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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Atomistic Positioning of Defects in Helium Ion Treated Single-Layer MoS2


Structuring materials with atomic precision is the ultimate goal of nanotechnology and is becoming increasingly relevant as an enabling technology for quantum electronics/spintronics and quantum photonics. Here, we create atomic defects in monolayer MoS2 by helium ion (He-ion) beam lithography with a spatial fidelity approaching the single-atom limit in all three dimensions. Using low-temperature scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), we confirm the formation of individual point defects in MoS2 upon He-ion bombardment and show that defects are generated within 9 nm of the incident helium ions. Atom-specific sputtering yields are determined by analyzing the type and occurrence of defects observed in high-resolution STM images and compared with Monte Carlo simulations. Both theory and experiment indicate that the He-ion bombardment predominantly generates sulfur vacancies.

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