The chemistry of two-dimensional layered transition metal dichalcogenide nanosheets

Journal name:
Nature Chemistry
Year published:
Published online


Ultrathin two-dimensional nanosheets of layered transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) are fundamentally and technologically intriguing. In contrast to the graphene sheet, they are chemically versatile. Mono- or few-layered TMDs — obtained either through exfoliation of bulk materials or bottom-up syntheses — are direct-gap semiconductors whose bandgap energy, as well as carrier type (n- or p-type), varies between compounds depending on their composition, structure and dimensionality. In this Review, we describe how the tunable electronic structure of TMDs makes them attractive for a variety of applications. They have been investigated as chemically active electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution and hydrosulfurization, as well as electrically active materials in opto-electronics. Their morphologies and properties are also useful for energy storage applications such as electrodes for Li-ion batteries and supercapacitors.

At a glance


  1. Structure of monolayered TMDs.
    Figure 1: Structure of monolayered TMDs.

    a, About 40 different layered TMD compounds exist. The transition metals and the three chalcogen elements that predominantly crystallize in those layered structure are highlighted in the periodic table. Partial highlights for Co, Rh, Ir and Ni indicate that only some of the dichalcogenides form layered structures. For example, NiS2 is found to have apyrite structure but NiTe2 is a layered compound. b,c, c-Axis and [11–20] section view of single-layer TMD with trigonal prismatic (b) and octahedral (c) coordinations. Atom colour code: purple, metal; yellow, chalcogen. The labels AbA and AbC represent the stacking sequence where the upper- and lower-case letters represent chalcogen and metal elements, respectively. d,e, Dark-field scanning transmission electron microscopy image of single-layer MoS2 showing the contrast variation of 1H (d) and 1T (e) phases. Blue and yellow balls indicate Mo and S atoms, respectively. f, Zigzag chain clusterization of W atoms due to Jahn–Teller distortion in single layer WS2. The clustered W atoms are represented by orange balls. The √3a x a unit cell of the superstructure is indicated with a white rectangle. Images in d and e reproduced with permission from ref. 12, © 2012 ACS. Image in f courtesy of T. Fujita.

  2. d-Orbital filling and electronic character of various TMDs.
    Figure 2: d-Orbital filling and electronic character of various TMDs.

    a, Qualitative schematic illustration showing progressive filling of d orbitals that are located within the bandgap of bonding (σ) and anti-bonding states (σ*) in group 4, 5, 6, 7 and 10 TMDs. D3h and D3d refer to the point group associated with the trigonal prismatic and the octahedral coordination of the transition metals (that is, the two monolayer polymorphs described in Fig. 1b). It should be noted that this simple model assumes ideal coordination; structural distortion often seen in many tellurides and group 7 TMDs lead to deviation in the electronic structure. The filled and unfilled states are shaded with dark and light blue, respectively. According to ligand field theory, D3d compounds form two non-bonding d orbitals, dyz,xz,xy (bottom) and dz2, x2–y2 (top), while D3h (or Oh) compounds exhibit three d orbitals whose character is predomintly dz2, dx2–y2,xy, and dxz,yz (from bottom to top). When an orbital is partially filled (such as in the case of group 5 and 7 TMDs), the Fermi level (EF) is within the band and the compound exhibits a metallic character. When an orbital is fully filled (such as in group 6 TMDs), the Fermi level is in the energy gap and a semiconducting character is observed. b, Energy dispersion (energy versus wavevector k) in bulk, quadrilayer (4L), bilayer (2L) and monolayer (1L) MoS2 from left to right. The horizontal dashed line represents the energy of a band maximum at the K point. The red and blue lines represent the conduction and valence band edges, respectively. The lowest energy transition (indicated by the solid arrows) is direct (vertical) only in the case of a single layer. Indirect transition in monolayer (dashed arrow in 1L plot) is greater in energy than the direct band edge transition (solid arrow). c, Band structure of MoS2 showing six valleys and opposite spin–orbit splitting of the valence band at the K and K′ (−K) points. The red and blue surfaces represent spin–orbit-split valence band maxima, each of which is associated with a particular electron spin. The green surfaces represent the conduction band minima or the valleys. Figures reproduced with permission from: b, ref. 6, © 2010 ACS; c, ref. 36, © 2012 APS.

  3. Chemical exfoliation of monolayered TMDs.
    Figure 3: Chemical exfoliation of monolayered TMDs.

    a, Schematic representation of the electrochemical lithiation process for synthesis of 2D nanosheets from layered bulk materials47. The cut-off voltage used to optimize the electrochemical lithiation conditions for preparation of few-layer BN, NbSe2, WSe2, Sb2Se3 and Bi2Te3 is also indicated. b, (i) Photographs of 2D nanosheet dispersions and (ii) the corresponding atomic force microscope images on SiO2 substrates42, 47. The insets of the AFM images represent height profiles from the substrate onto the nanosheets. The height of the step at the edge indicates the thickness of the nanosheets. Figures reproduced with permission from: a, b(i,ii) NbSe2, ref. 47, © 2012 Wiley; b(i) MoS2, WS2, TiS2, TaS2, b(ii) WS2, TiS2, TaS2, ZrS2, ref. 42, © 2011 Wiley.

  4. Chemical vapour deposition of ultrathin TMDs.
    Figure 4: Chemical vapour deposition of ultrathin TMDs.

    a, Schematic of MoS2 layer deposited by two-step thermolysis, and the films obtained on a sapphire and silica sustrate53. b, MoS2 nanosheets on CVD graphene/Cu substrates through van der Waals epitaxy55. c, Schematic illustration of single- to few-layered MoS2 by sulfurization of Mo thin film56. d, Alternative method for the growth of a MoS2 monolayer, also on a substrate (sample) from MoO3 and S powders through a gas-phase reaction. The substrate has been treated with aromatic molecules to assist the growth of larger flakes, as shown by the optical micrograph and atomic force microscopic images of the triangular nanosheets that are obtained57. The red circles represent the heating reaction chamber. e, Wafer-scale deposition of mono- to few-layered MoS2 films obtained by direct sulfurization of MoO3 thin films, and their transfer onto arbitrary substrates60. f,g, CVD of ultrathin TMDs by vaporization and decomposition of a single precursor in solution (f) and by vaporization and decomposition of metal and chalcogen precursors in solid forms (g). Figures reproduced with permission from: a, ref. 53, © 2012 ACS; b, ref. 55, © 2012 ACS; d, ref. 57, © 2012 Wiley; e, ref. 60, © 2012 RSC.

  5. Surface chemistry probed by adsorption of DBT.
    Figure 5: Surface chemistry probed by adsorption of DBT.

    a, STM image (52 × 52 Å2) of a Mo-edge-terminated cluster after dosing of DBT at 300 K. The white arrows indicate S vacancies. b, S-edge-terminated cluster after dosing of DBT at 300 K. The STM image is 22 × 22 Å2. c, Illustrations of the adsorption of DBT on sites of Mo-edge-terminated (edge, left) and S-edge-terminated (corner, right) clusters with S vacancies70. The red curves in the case of the Mo-edge cluster show steric hindrance. d, STM images (15 × 15 Å2) of the corner sites of a Mo- and S-edge S vacancy sites interacting with a DBT molecule. The distances between the S atom of DBT and the corner Mo atom show that the shape of the MoS2 material greatly influences its interaction with DBT, and the efficiency of its desulfurization. Figure reproduced with permission from ref. 70, © 2012 ACS.

  6. Hydrogen evolution reaction catalysis with TMDs.
    Figure 6: Hydrogen evolution reaction catalysis with TMDs.

    a, Volcano plot of exchange current density (i0) as a function of DFT-calculated Gibbs free energy (ΔGH*) of adsorbed atomic hydrogen for MoS2 and pure metals82. b, [(PY5Me2)MoS2]2+ compound designed to mimic the edges of MoS2. Colour code of the atoms: green, Mo; yellow, S; light blue, F; red, O; blue, N; and grey, C. H atoms are omitted for clarity83. c, (i,ii) Schematics of solvothermal synthesis (i) with graphene oxide sheets for MoS2/RGO hybrid synthesis and (ii) without graphene oxide sheets, resulting in large, free MoS2 particles. (iii,iv) SEM and TEM (inset) images of the MoS2/RGO hybrid (iii) and of the free MoS2 particles (iv)75. d, SEM images of graphene-protected Ni foam on which MoS2 catalysts were grown84. Left, low magnification image of Ni foam coated with graphene and MoS2. Middle, the region indicated by the red circle in the left image has been magnified to show the skeleton structure of the foam. Right, magnified region from the red circle in the central image, showing the graphene/MoS2 films on the polycrystalline Ni foam. Figures reproduced with permission from: a, ref. 82, © 2007 AAAS; b, ref. 83, © 2012 AAAS; c, ref. 75, 2011 ACS; d, ref. 84, © 2012 Wiley.


  1. Novoselov, K. S. et al. Electric field effect in atomically thin carbon film. Science 306, 666669 (2004).
  2. Castro Neto, A. H., Guinea, F., Peres, N. M. R., Novoselov, K. S. & Geim, A. K. The electronic properties of graphene. Rev. Mod. Phys. 81, 109162 (2009).
  3. Geim, A. K. Graphene: Status and prospects. Science 324, 15301534 (2009).
  4. Wang, Q. H., Kalantar-Zadeh, K., Kis, A., Coleman, J. N. & Strano, M. S. Electronics and opto-electronics of two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides. Nature Nanotech. 7, 699712 (2012).
  5. Mak, K. F., Lee, C., Hone, J., Shan, J. & Heinz, T. F. Atomically thin MoS2: A new direct-gap semiconductor. Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 136805 (2010).
  6. Splendiani, A. et al. Emerging photoluminescence in monolayer MoS2. Nano Lett. 10, 12711275 (2010).
  7. Cao, T. et al. Valley-selective circular dichroism of monolayer molybdenum disulphide. Nature Commun. 3, 887 (2012).
  8. Zeng, H., Dai, J., Yao, W., Xiao, D. & Cui, X. Valley polarization in MoS2 monolayers by optical pumping. Nature Nanotech. 7, 490493 (2012).
  9. Mak, K. F., He, K., Shan, J. & Heinz, T. F. Control of valley polarization in monolayer MoS2 by optical helicity. Nature Nanotech. 7, 494498 (2012).
  10. Li, H. et al. Optical identification of single- and few-layer MoS2 sheets. Small 8, 682686 (2012).
  11. Eda, G. et al. Photoluminescence from chemically exfoliated MoS2. Nano Lett. 11, 51115116 (2011).
  12. Eda, G., Fujita, T., Yamaguchi, H., Voiry, D., Chen, M. W. & Chhowalla, M. Coherent atomic and electronic heterostructures of single-layer MoS2. ACS Nano 6, 73117317 (2012).
  13. Yin, Z. et al. Single-layer MoS2 phototransistors. ACS Nano 6, 7480 (2012).
  14. Castellanos-Gomez, A. et al. Laser-thinning of MoS2: On demand generation of a single-layer semiconductor. Nano Lett. 12, 31873192 (2012).
  15. Feng, J. et al. Giant moisture responsiveness of VS2 ultrathin nanosheets for novel touchless positioning interface. Adv. Mater. 24, 19691974 (2012).
  16. Matte, H. S. S. et al. MoS2 and WS2 analogues of graphene. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 49, 40594062 (2010).
  17. Li, H. et al. Fabrication of single- and multilayer MoS2 film-based field effect transistors for sensing NO at room temperature. Small 8, 6367 (2012).
  18. Loh, K. P., Bao, Q. L., Eda, G. & Chhowalla, M. Graphene oxide as a chemically tuneable platform for optical applications. Nature Chem. 2, 10151024 (2010).
  19. Sipos, B. et al. From Mott state to superconductivity in 1T-TaS2. Nature Mater. 7, 960965 (2008).
  20. Gordon, R. A., Yang, D., Crozier, E. D., Jiang, D. T. & Frindt, R. F. Structures of exfoliated single layers of WS2, MoS2, and MoSe2 in aqueous suspension. Phys. Rev. B 65, 125407 (2002).
  21. Kuc, A., Zibouche, N. & Heine, T. Influence of quantum confinement on the electronic structure of the transition metal sulfide TS2. Phys. Rev. B 83, 245213 (2011).
  22. Wilson, J. A., Di Salvo, F. J. & Mahajan, S. Charge-density waves and superlattices in the metallic layered transition metal dichalcogenides. Adv. Phys. 24, 117201 (1975).
  23. Meyer, J. C., Geim, A. G., Katnelson, M. I., Novoselov, K. S. & Roth, S. The structure of suspended graphene sheets. Nature 446, 6063 (2006).
  24. Bertolazzi, S., Brivio, J. & Kis, A. Stretching and breaking of ultrathin MoS2. ACS Nano 5, 97039709 (2011).
  25. Wilson, J. A. & Yoffe, A. D. The transition metal dichalcogenides discussion and interpretation of optical, electrical and structural properties. Adv. Phys. 18, 193335 (1969).
  26. Bissessur, R., Kanatzidis, M. G., Schindler, J. L. & Kannewurf, C. R. Encapsulation of polymers into MoS2 and metal to insulator transition in metastable MoS2. J. Chem. Soc. Chem. Commun. 15821585 (1993).
  27. Frindt, R. F. & Yoffe, A. D. Physical properties of layer structures: Optical properties and photoconductivity of thin crystals of molybdenum disulphide. Proc. R. Soc. Lond. A 273, 6983 (1963).
  28. Py, M. A. & Haering, R. R., Structural destabilization induced by lithium intercalation in MoS2 and related-compounds. Can. J. Phys. 61, 7684 (1983).
  29. Ganal, P., Olberding, W. & Butz, T. Soft chemistry induced host metal coordination change from octahedral to trigonal prismatic 1T-TaS2. Solid State Ionics 59, 313319 (1993).
  30. Lorenz, T., Teich, D., Joswig, J. O. & Seifert, G. Theoretical study of mechanical behavior of individual TiS2 and MoS2 nanotubes. J. Phys. Chem. C 116, 1171411721 (2012).
  31. Castro Neto, A. H. Charge density wave, superconductivity, and anomalous metallic behavior in 2D transition metal dichalcogenides. Phys. Rev. Lett. 86, 43824385 (2001).
  32. Heising, J. & Kanatzidis, M. G. Exfoliated and restacked MoS2 and WS2: Ionic or neutral species? Encapsulation and ordering of hard electropositive cations. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 121, 1172011732 (1999).
  33. Castro Neto, A. H. & Novoselov, K. Two dimensional crystals: Beyond graphene. Mater. Exp. 1, 1017 (2011).
  34. Tongay, S. et al. Thermally driven crossover from indirect toward direct bandgap in 2D semiconductors: MoSe2 versus MoS2. Nano Lett. 12, 55765580 (2012).
  35. Zhao, W. et al. Evolution of electronic structure in atomically thin sheets of WS2 and WSe2. ACS Nano 7, 791797 (2013).
  36. Xiao, D., Liu, G.-B., Feng, W., Xu, X. & Yao, W. Coupled spin and valley physics in monolayers of MoS2 and other group-VI dichalcogenides. Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, 196802 (2012).
  37. Joensen, P., Frindt, R. F. & Morrison, S. R. Single-layer MoS2. Mater. Res. Bull. 21, 457461 (1986).
  38. Dines, M. B. Lithium intercalation via n-butyllithium of layered transition-metal dichalcogenides. Mater. Res. Bull. 10, 287291 (1975).
  39. Benavente, E., Santa Ana, M. A., Mendizabal, F. & Gonzalez, G. Intercalation chemistry of molybdenum disulfide. Coord. Chem. Rev. 224, 87109 (2002).
  40. Golub, A. S., Zubavichus, Y. V., Slovokhotov, Y. L. & Novikov, Y. N. Single-layer dispersions of transition metal dichalcogenides in the synthesis of intercalation compounds. Russian Chem. Rev. 72, 123141 (2003).
  41. Coleman, J. N. et al. Two-dimensional nanosheets produced by liquid exfoliation of layered materials. Science 331, 568571 (2011).
  42. Zeng, Z. Y. et al. Single-layer semiconducting nanosheets: High-yield preparation and device fabrication. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 50, 1109311097 (2011).
  43. Zhou, K.-G., Mao, N.-N., Wang, H.-X., Peng, Y. & Zhang, H.-L. A mixed-solvent strategy for efficient exfoliation of inorganic graphene analogues. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 50, 1083910842 (2011).
  44. Cunningham, G. et al. Solvent exfoliation of transition metal dichalcogenides: Dispersibility of exfoliated nanosheets varies only weakly between compounds. ACS Nano 6, 34683480 (2012).
  45. Smith, R. J. et al. Large-scale exfoliation of inorganic layered compounds in aqueous surfactant solutions. Adv. Mater. 23, 39443948 (2011).
  46. May, P., Khan, U., Hughes, J. M. & Coleman, J. N. Role of solubility parameters in understanding the steric stabilization of exfoliated two-dimensional nanosheets by adsorbed polymers. J. Phys. Chem. C 116, 1139311400 (2012).
  47. Zeng, Z. et al. An effective method for the fabrication of few-layer-thick inorganic nanosheets. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 51, 90529056 (2012).
  48. Hernandez, Y. et al. High-yield production of graphene by liquid-phase exfoliation of graphite. Nature Nanotech. 3, 563568 (2008).
  49. Zhi, C., Bando, Y., Tang, C., Kuwahara, H. & Goldberg, D. Large scale fabrication of boron nitrode nanosheets and their utilization in polymeric composites with improved thermal and mechanical properties. Adv. Mater. 21, 28892893 (2009).
  50. O'Neill, A., Khan, U. & Coleman, J. N. Preparation of high concentration dispersions of exfoliated MoS2 with increased flake size. Chem. Mater. 24, 24142421 (2012).
  51. Li, X. et al. Large-area synthesis of high-quality and uniform graphene films on copper foils. Science 324, 13121314 (2009).
  52. Bae, S. et al. Roll-to-roll production of 30-inch graphene films for transparent electrodes. Nature Nanotech. 5, 574578 (2010).
  53. Liu, K.-K. et al. Growth of large-area and highly crystalline MoS2 thin layers on insulating substrates. Nano Lett. 12, 15381544 (2012).
  54. Lee, H. S. et al. MoS2 Nanosheet phototransistors with thickness-modulated optical energy gap. Nano Lett. 12, 36953700 (2012).
  55. Shi, Y. et al. Van der waals epitaxy of MoS2 layers using graphene as growth templates. Nano Lett. 12, 27842791 (2012).
  56. Zhan, Y., Liu, Z., Najmaei, S., Ajayan, P. M. & Lou, J. Large-area vapor-phase growth and characterization of MoS2 atomic layers on a SiO2 substrate. Small 8, 966971 (2012).
  57. Lee, Y.-H. et al. Synthesis of large-area MoS2 atomic layers with chemical vapor deposition. Adv. Mater. 24, 23202325 (2012).
  58. Salmeron, M., Somorjai, G. A. & Chianelli R. R. A LEED-AES study of the structure of sulfur monolayers on the Mo(100) crystal face. Surf. Sci. 127, 526540 (1983).
  59. Wilson, J. M. LEED and AES study of the interaction of H2S and Mo (100). Surf. Sci. 53, 330340 (1975).
  60. Lin, Y.-C. et al. Wafer-scale MoS2 thin layers prepared by MoO3 sulfurization. Nanoscale 4, 66376641 (2012).
  61. Jager-waldau, A., Lux-steiner, M., Jager-waldau, R., Burkhardt, R. & Bucher, E. Composition and morphology of MoSe2 thin films. Thin Solid Films 189, 339345 (1990).
  62. Genut, M., Margulis, L., Tenne, R. & Hodes, G. Effect of substrate on growth of WS2 thin films. Thin Solid Films 219, 3036 (1992).
  63. Ennaoui, A., Fiechter, S., Ellmer, K., Scheer, R. & Diesner, K. Preparation of textured and photoactive 2H-WS2 thin films by sulfurization of WO3. Thin Solid Films 261, 124131 (1995).
  64. Boscher, N. D., Carmalt, C. J., Palgrave, R. G., Gil-Tomas, J. J. & Parkin. I. P. Atmospheric pressure CVD of molybdenum diselenide films on glass. Chem. Vapor. Depos. 12, 692698 (2006).
  65. Carmalt, C. J., Parkin, I. P. & Peters. E. S. Atmospheric pressure chemical vapour deposition of WS2 thin films on glass. Polyhedron 22, 14994505 (2003).
  66. Boscher, N. D., Carmalt, C. J. & Parkin. I. P. Atmospheric pressure chemical vapor deposition of WSe2 thin films on glass–highly hydrophobic sticky surfaces. J. Mater. Chem. 16, 122127 (2006).
  67. Boscher, N. D., Blackman, C. S., Carmalt, C. J., Parkin, I. P. & Prieto. A. G. Atmospheric pressure chemical vapour deposition of vanadium diselenide thin films. Appl. Surf. Sci. 253, 60416046 (2007).
  68. Peters, E. S., Carmalt, C. J. & Parkin, I. P. Dual-source chemical vapour deposition of titanium sulfide thin films from tetrakisdimethylamidotitanium and sulfur precursors. J. Mater. Chem. 14, 34743477 (2004).
  69. Lauritsen, J. V. et al. Size-dependent structure of MoS2 nanocrystals. Nature Nanotech. 2, 5358 (2007).
  70. Tuxen, A. et al. Size threshold in the dibenzothiophene adsorption on MoS2 nanoclusters. ACS NANO 4, 46774682 (2010).
  71. Lauritsen, J. V. Location and coordination of promoter atoms in Co- and Ni-Promoted MoS2-based hydrotreating catalysts. J. Catal. 249, 220233 (2007).
  72. Merki, D., Vrubel, H., Rovelli, L., Fierro, S. & Hu, X. Fe, Co, and Ni ions promote the catalytic activity of amorphous molybdenum sulfide films for hydrogen evolution. Chem. Sci. 2, 25152525 (2012).
  73. Greeley, J. et al. Computational high-throughput screening of electrocatalytic materials for hydrogen evolution. Nature Mater. 5, 909913 (2006).
  74. Laursen, L. B., Kegnæs, S., Dahla, S. & Chorkendorff, I. Molybdenum suldes efcient and viable materials for electro- and photoelectrocatalytic hydrogen evolution. Energy Environ. Sci. 5, 55775591 (2012).
  75. Li, Y. et al. MoS2 nanoparticles grown on graphene: an advanced catalyst for the hydrogen evolution reaction. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 133, 72967299 (2011).
  76. Li, T. & Galli, G. Electronic properties of MoS2 nanoparticles. J. Phys. Chem. C 111, 1619216196 (2007).
  77. Merki, D. et al. Amorphous molybdenum sulfide films as catalysts for electrochemical hydrogen production in water. Chem. Sci. 2, 12621267 (2011).
  78. Norskov, J. K. et al. Trends in the exchange current for hydrogen evolution. J. Electrochem. Chem. 152, J23J26 (2005).
  79. Nørskov, J. K., Bligaard, T., Rossmeisl, J. & Christensen, C. H. Towards the computational design of solid catalysts. Nature Chem. 1, 3746 (2009).
  80. Greeley, J. et al. Computational high-throughput screening of electrocatalytic materials for hydrogen evolution. Nature Mater. 5, 909913 (2006).
  81. Bonde, J. et al. Hydrogen evolution on nano-particulate transition metal sulfides. Faraday Discuss. 140, 219231 (2008).
  82. Jaramillo, T. F. et al. Identification of active edge sites for electrochemical H2 evolution from MoS2 nanocatalysts. Science 317, 100102 (2007).
  83. Karunadasa, H. I. et al. A molecular MoS2 edge site mimic for catalytic hydrogen generation, Science 335, 698702 (2012).
  84. Chang, Y.-H. et al. Highly efficient electrocatalytic hydrogen production by MoSx grown on graphene-protected 3D Ni foams. Adv. Mater. 25, 756760 (2013).
  85. Wilcoxon, J. P. & Samara G. A. Strong quantum-size effects in a layered semiconductor: MoS2 nanoclusters. Phys. Rev. B 51, 7200 (1995).
  86. Xiang, Q., Yu, J. & Jaroniec, M. Synergetic effect of MoS2 and graphene as cocatalysts for enhanced photocatalytic H2 production activity of TiO2 nanoparticles. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 134, 65756578 (2012).
  87. Zhou, W. J. et al. Synthesis of few-layer MoS2 nanosheet-coated TiO2 nanobelt heterostructures for enhanced photocatalytic activities. Small 9, 140147 (2013).
  88. Haering, R. R., Stiles, J. A. R. & Brandt, K. Lithium molybdenum disulphide battery cathode. US Patent 4224390 (1980).
  89. Bhandavat, R., David, L. & Singh, G. Synthesis of surface-functionalized WS2 nanosheets and performance as Li-ion battery anodes. J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 3, 15231530 (2012).
  90. Chang, K., Chen, W. L-Cysteine-assisted synthesis of layered MoS2/graphene composites with excellent electrochemical properties for lithium ion batteries. ACS Nano 5, 47204728 (2011).
  91. Chang, K. & Chen, W. In situ synthesis of MoS2/graphene nanosheet composites with extraordinarily high electrochemical performance for lithium ion batteries. Chem. Commun. 47, 42524254 (2011).
  92. Feng, C. Q. et al. Synthesis of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) for lithium ion battery applications. Mater. Res. Bull. 44, 18111815 (2009).
  93. Ding, S., Zhang, D., Chen, J. S. & Lou, X. W. Facile synthesis of hierarchical MoS2 microspheres composed of few-layered nanosheets and their lithium storage properties. Nanoscale 4, 9598 (2012).
  94. Zhang, C., Wang, Z., Guo, Z. & Lou, X. W. Synthesis of MoS2-C one-dimensional nanostructures with improved Lithium storage properties. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 4, 37653768 (2012).
  95. Ding, S., Chen, J. S. & Lou, X. W. Glucose-assisted growth of MoS2 nanosheets on CNT backbone for improved Lithium storage properties. Chem. Euro. J. 17, 1314213145 (2011).
  96. Zhang, C., Wu, H. B., Guo, Z. & Lou, X. W. Facile synthesis of carbon-coated MoS2 nanorods with enhanced lithium storage properties. Electrochem. Comm. 20, 710 (2012).
  97. Chang, K. & Chen, W. L-Cysteine-assisted synthesis of layered MoS2/graphene composites with excellent electrochemical performances for lithium ion batteries. ACS Nano 5, 47204728 (2011).
  98. Chang, K. & Chen, W. In situ synthesis of MoS2/graphene nanosheet composites with extraordinarily high electrochemical performance for lithium ion batteries. Chem. Comm. 47, 42524254 (2011).
  99. Radisavljevic, B., Radenovic, A., Brivio, J., Giacometti, V. & Kis, A. Single-layer MoS2 transistors. Nature Nanotech. 6, 147150 (2011).
  100. Radisavljevic, B., Whitwick, M. B. & Kis, A. Integrated circuits and logic operations based on single-layer MoS2. ACS Nano 5, 99349938 (2011).
  101. Zhang, Y., Ye, J., Matsuhashi, Y. & Iwasa, Y. Ambipolar MoS2 thin flake transistors. Nano Lett. 12, 11361140 (2012).
  102. Liu, L., Kumar, S. B., Ouyang, Y. & Gou, J. Performance limits of monolayer transition metal dichalcogenide transistors. IEEE Trans. Electron Devices 58, 30423047 (2011).
  103. Kaasbjerg, K., Thygesen, K. S. & Jacobsen, K. W. Phonon-limited mobility in n-type single-layer MoS2 from first principles. Phys. Rev. B 85, 115317 (2012).
  104. Lee, K. et al. Electrical characteristics of molybdenum disulfide flakes produced by liquid exfoliation. Adv. Mater. 23, 41784182 (2011).
  105. Late, D. J., Liu, B., Matte, H. S. S. R., Dravid, V. P. & Rao, C. N. R. Hysteresis in single-layer MoS2 field effect transistors. ACS Nano 6, 56355641 (2012).
  106. Fang, H. et al. High-performance single layered WSe2 p-FETs with chemically doped contacts. Nano Lett. 12, 37883792 (2012).
  107. Wang, H. et al. Integrated circuits based on bilayer MoS2 transistors. Nano Lett. 12, 46744670 (2012).
  108. Pu, J. et al. Highly flexible MoS2 thin-film transistors with ion gel dielectrics. Nano Lett. 12, 40134017 (2012).
  109. Lee, S. H. et al. MoS2 phototransistors with thickness-modulated optical energy gap. Nano Lett. 12, 36953700 (2012).

Download references

Author information


  1. Materials Science and Engineering, Rutgers University, 607 Taylor Road, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854, USA

    • Manish Chhowalla
  2. Interdisciplinary School of Green Energy and Low Dimensional Carbon Materials Center, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), UNIST-gil 50, Ulsan 689-798, Republic of Korea

    • Hyeon Suk Shin
  3. Department of Physics, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117542

    • Goki Eda
  4. Department of Chemistry, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117543

    • Goki Eda &
    • Kian Ping Loh
  5. Graphene Research Centre, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117546

    • Goki Eda &
    • Kian Ping Loh
  6. Institute of Atomic and Molecular Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei 10617, Taiwan

    • Lain-Jong Li
  7. School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798

    • Hua Zhang

Competing financial interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to:

Author details

Additional data