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Ultrasensitive photodetectors based on monolayer MoS2

Abstract

Two-dimensional materials are an emerging class of new materials with a wide range of electrical properties and potential practical applications. Although graphene1 is the most well-studied two-dimensional material, single layers of other materials, such as insulating BN (ref. 2) and semiconducting MoS2 (refs 3, 4) or WSe2 (refs 5, 6), are gaining increasing attention as promising gate insulators and channel materials for field-effect transistors. Because monolayer MoS2 is a direct-bandgap semiconductor7,8 due to quantum-mechanical confinement7,9,10, it could be suitable for applications in optoelectronic devices where the direct bandgap would allow a high absorption coefficient and efficient electron–hole pair generation under photoexcitation. Here, we demonstrate ultrasensitive monolayer MoS2 phototransistors with improved device mobility and ON current. Our devices show a maximum external photoresponsivity of 880 A W−1 at a wavelength of 561 nm and a photoresponse in the 400–680 nm range. With recent developments in large-scale production techniques such as liquid-scale exfoliation11,12,13 and chemical vapour deposition-like growth14,15, MoS2 shows important potential for applications in MoS2-based integrated optoelectronic circuits, light sensing, biomedical imaging, video recording and spectroscopy.

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Figure 1: Monolayer MoS2 phototransistor layout.
Figure 2: Photoinduced response of the single-layer MoS2 photodetector.
Figure 3: Dependence of photoresponse on illumination intensity.
Figure 4: Photocurrent dynamics.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank B. Radisavljevic for advice regarding device fabrication and A. Fontcuberta i Morral for the use of the monochromator. Device fabrication was carried out partly in the EPFL Center for Micro/Nanotechnology (CMI). Thanks go to Z. Benes (CMI) for technical support with electron-beam lithography. This work was financially supported by the Swiss Nanoscience Institute (NCCR Nanoscience) and the European Research Council (grant no. 240076; FLATRONICS: Electronic devices based on nanolayers; grant no. 259398; PorABEL: Nanopore integrated nanoelectrodes for biomolecular manipulation and sensing).

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O.L.S. and D.L. worked on device fabrication. O.L.S. performed the measurements and analysed the data. A.R. and M.K. built the optical setup. O.L.S., D.L., A.R. and A.K. designed the experiment. O.L.S., A.K. and A.R. wrote the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Aleksandra Radenovic or Andras Kis.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Lopez-Sanchez, O., Lembke, D., Kayci, M. et al. Ultrasensitive photodetectors based on monolayer MoS2. Nature Nanotech 8, 497–501 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2013.100

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