Vapour–liquid–solid growth of monolayer MoS2 nanoribbons


Chemical vapour deposition of two-dimensional materials typically involves the conversion of vapour precursors to solid products in a vapour–solid–solid mode. Here, we report the vapour–liquid–solid growth of monolayer MoS2, yielding highly crystalline ribbons with a width of few tens to thousands of nanometres. This vapour–liquid–solid growth is triggered by the reaction between MoO3 and NaCl, which results in the formation of molten Na–Mo–O droplets. These droplets mediate the growth of MoS2 ribbons in the ‘crawling mode’ when saturated with sulfur. The locally well-defined orientations of the ribbons reveal the regular horizontal motion of the droplets during growth. Using atomic-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy and second harmonic generation microscopy, we show that the ribbons are grown homoepitaxially on monolayer MoS2 with predominantly 2H- or 3R-type stacking. Our findings highlight the prospects for the controlled growth of atomically thin nanostructure arrays for nanoelectronic devices and the development of unique mixed-dimensional structures.

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Fig. 1: Morphology and properties of VLS-MoS2 ribbons grown on a NaCl single crystal.
Fig. 2: VLS homoepitaxy of MoS2 ribbons on monolayer MoS2.
Fig. 3: STEM images of homoepitaxially grown MoS2 ribbons on monolayer MoS2.
Fig. 4: SHG microscopy of homoepitaxially grown MoS2 ribbons on monolayer MoS2.
Fig. 5: Schematic illustration of the possible ribbon formation mechanism.
Fig. 6: DFT-MD simulation of the MoS2 precipitation process.


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G.E. acknowledges the Singapore National Research Foundation for funding the research under an NRF Research Fellowship (NRF-NRFF2011-02) and medium-sized centre programme. G.E. also acknowledges support from the Ministry of Education (MOE), Singapore, under AcRF Tier 2 (MOE2015-T2-2-123, MOE2017-T2-1-134). Y.-C.L. and K.S. acknowledge support from JSPS KAKENHI (JP16H06333). T.T. acknowledges support from JSPS KAKENHI (JP16H00922). Jing W. acknowledges A*STAR Pharos Funding from the Science and Engineering Research Council (grant no. 1527200015). F.D. acknowledges support from the Institute for Basic Science (IBS-R019-D1). S.L. acknowledges Y. Sun for helpful discussion and thanks all staff members of the Nanofabrication group at NIMS for their support.

Author information




S.L. designed and conducted the VLS growth. Y.-C.L. and K.S. performed and interpreted the STEM data. S.L., Jing W., Y.S., D.-M.T, C.L., Wen Z., F.D. and G.E. interpreted the VLS growth. Z.W., H.Z., Z.S., Q.-H.X. and A.T.S.W. performed and analysed the SHG data. S.L., Junyong W., Weijie Z. and L.C. studied and analysed the Raman, photoluminescence, AFM and electrical properties. S.L. and Q.Z. performed the TGA and XRD experiments. S.L., Z.H., W.C., T.T. and M.O. conducted the growth of MoX2, WX2 (X = S, Se, Te) from sodium molybdate and sodium tungstate and analysed the growth products. Wen Z. and F.D. carried out the DFT-MD simulations. S.L., Y.-C.L., Wen Z., F.D. and G.E. wrote the paper. All the authors discussed and commented on the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Shisheng Li or Goki Eda.

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Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary Figures 1–13, Supplementary References

Supplementary Video 1

DFT-MD simulation side-view

Supplementary Video 2

DFT-MD simulation top-view

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Li, S., Lin, YC., Zhao, W. et al. Vapour–liquid–solid growth of monolayer MoS2 nanoribbons. Nature Mater 17, 535–542 (2018).

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