Growth of environmentally stable transition metal selenide films


Two-dimensional transition metal selenides (TMSs) possess fascinating physical properties. However, many as-prepared TMSs are environmentally unstable and limited in sample size, which greatly hinder their wide applications in high-performance electrical devices. Here we develop a general two-step vapour deposition method and successfully grow different TMS films with controllable thickness, wafer size and high quality. The superconductivity of the grown NbSe2 film is comparable with sheets exfoliated from bulk materials, and can maintain stability after a variety of harsh treatments, which are ascribed to the absence of oxygen during the whole growth process. Such environmental stability can greatly simplify the fabrication procedure for device applications, and should be of both fundamental and technological significance in developing TMS-based devices.

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Fig. 1: Two-step vapour deposition growth of wafer-sized NbSe2 film.
Fig. 2: Atomic images of a 1.5 nm NbSe2 film.
Fig. 3: Superconductivity in NbSe2 films with different treatments.
Fig. 4: Generalization of the two-step vapour deposition method.

Data availability

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon request.


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We thank W. Jiang, B. Li and Y. Dai for help with absorption measurements, and W. Chen and Y. Zhang for help with XPS measurements. This work is supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (grant no. 2018YFA0305800), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (nos. 11674154, 11761131010, 11774151 and 51771172) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (nos. 020414380065 and 020414380094 and 02041438100), and the Basic Research Program of Jiangsu Province (grant no. BK20161390). The numerical calculations have been carried out at the High Performance Computing Center of Nanjing University.

Author information




L.G. conceived and supervised the project, and designed the experiments; H.L. carried out growth experiments and transport measurements; J.X., X.H. and W.S. helped with the device fabrication and transport measurements; Q.Z. and J.W. performed STEM; D.L. and X.X. performed the terahertz Raman spectroscopy; D.S. carried out the theoretical simulations; L.G. and H.L. wrote the manuscript, J.W., Q.Z., J.X. and X.X. revised it, and all of the authors commented on it.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Jiangwei Wang or Libo Gao.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Supplementary Figures 1–18, Supplementary References 1–6

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Lin, H., Zhu, Q., Shu, D. et al. Growth of environmentally stable transition metal selenide films. Nat. Mater. 18, 602–607 (2019).

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