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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Atomic electrostatic maps of 1D channels in 2D semiconductors using 4D scanning transmission electron microscopy


Defects in materials give rise to fluctuations in electrostatic fields that reflect the local charge density, but imaging this with single atom sensitivity is challenging. However, if possible, this provides information about the energetics of adatom binding, localized conduction channels, molecular functionality and their relationship to individual bonds. Here, ultrastable electron-optics are combined with a high-speed 2D electron detector to map electrostatic fields around individual atoms in 2D monolayers using 4D scanning transmission electron microscopy. Simultaneous imaging of the electric field, phase, annular dark field and the total charge in 2D MoS2 and WS2 is demonstrated for pristine areas and regions with 1D wires. The in-gap states in sulphur line vacancies cause 1D electron-rich channels that are mapped experimentally and confirmed using density functional theory calculations. We show how electrostatic fields are sensitive in defective areas to changes of atomic bonding and structural determination beyond conventional imaging.

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