Low-temperature plasma-enhanced atomic layer deposition of 2-D MoS2: Large area, thickness control and tuneable morphology

A. Sharma, M.A. Verheijen, L. Wu, S. Karwal, V. Vandalon, H.C.M. Knoops, R.S. Sundaram, J.P. Hofmann, W.M.M. Kessels, A.A. Bol (Corresponding author)

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Low-temperature controllable synthesis of monolayer-to-multilayer thick MoS2 with tuneable morphology is demonstrated by using plasma enhanced atomic layer deposition (PEALD). The characteristic self-limiting ALD growth with a growth-per-cycle of 0.1 nm per cycle and digital thickness control down to a monolayer are observed with excellent wafer scale uniformity. The as-deposited films are found to be polycrystalline in nature showing the signature Raman and photoluminescence signals for the mono-to-few layered regime. Furthermore, a transformation in film morphology from in-plane to out-of-plane orientation of the 2-dimensional layers as a function of growth temperature is observed. An extensive study based on high-resolution transmission electron microscopy is presented to unravel the nucleation mechanism of MoS2 on SiO2/Si substrates at 450 °C. In addition, a model elucidating the film morphology transformation (at 450 °C) is hypothesized. Finally, the out-of-plane oriented films are demonstrated to outperform the in-plane oriented films in the hydrogen evolution reaction for water splitting applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8615-8627
Number of pages13
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2018


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