Spatially controlled doping of two-dimensional SnS2 through intercalation for electronics

  • Nature Nanotechnologyvolume 13pages294299 (2018)
  • doi:10.1038/s41565-018-0069-3
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Doped semiconductors are the most important building elements for modern electronic devices1. In silicon-based integrated circuits, facile and controllable fabrication and integration of these materials can be realized without introducing a high-resistance interface2,3. Besides, the emergence of two-dimensional (2D) materials enables the realization of atomically thin integrated circuits4,5,6,7,8,9. However, the 2D nature of these materials precludes the use of traditional ion implantation techniques for carrier doping and further hinders device development10. Here, we demonstrate a solvent-based intercalation method to achieve p-type, n-type and degenerately doped semiconductors in the same parent material at the atomically thin limit. In contrast to naturally grown n-type S-vacancy SnS2, Cu intercalated bilayer SnS2 obtained by this technique displays a hole field-effect mobility of ~40 cm2 V−1 s−1, and the obtained Co-SnS2 exhibits a metal-like behaviour with sheet resistance comparable to that of few-layer graphene5. Combining this intercalation technique with lithography, an atomically seamless p–n–metal junction could be further realized with precise size and spatial control, which makes in-plane heterostructures practically applicable for integrated devices and other 2D materials. Therefore, the presented intercalation method can open a new avenue connecting the previously disparate worlds of integrated circuits and atomically thin materials.

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This work was supported by the Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering (contract no. DE-AC02-76SF00515). P.T. and S.C.Z. also acknowledge FAME, one of six centres of STARnet, a Semiconductor Research Corporation programme sponsored by MARCO and DARPA. Electron microscopy at ORNL (S.Z.Y., M.F.C. and W.Z.) was supported by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences, Materials Sciences and Engineering Division, and was performed in part as a user project at the ORNL Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, which is a DOE Office of the Science User Facility.

Author information


  1. Department of Material Science and Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA

    • Yongji Gong
    • , Hongtao Yuan
    • , Chun-Lan Wu
    • , Ankun Yang
    • , Guodong Li
    • , Bofei Liu
    • , Jorik van de Groep
    • , Mark L. Brongersma
    •  & Yi Cui
  2. School of Material Science and Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing, China

    • Yongji Gong
  3. Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Menlo Park, CA, USA

    • Hongtao Yuan
    • , Shou-Cheng Zhang
    •  & Yi Cui
  4. National Laboratory of Solid-State Microstructures, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Microstructures, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China

    • Hongtao Yuan
  5. Department of Physics, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA

    • Peizhe Tang
    •  & Shou-Cheng Zhang
  6. Materials Science and Technology Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, USA

    • Shi-Ze Yang
    • , Matthew F. Chisholm
    •  & Wu Zhou
  7. School of Physical Sciences, CAS Key Laboratory of Vacuum Physics, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

    • Wu Zhou


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Y.G. and Y.C. conceived and designed the experiments. Y.G. synthesized the sample and performed the intercalation reaction. H.Y., C.L.W., Y.G. and A.Y. performed sample fabrication and transport measurements. P.T. and S.C.Z. carried out DFT calculations. S.Z.Y., M.F.C. and W.Z. worked on the TEM measurements and analysed the data. A.Y., J.G. and M.L.B. measured the optical reflection spectra of the samples. G.L. performed XPS. All authors participated in discussions and co-wrote the paper.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Yi Cui.

Supplementary information

  1. Supplementary Information

    Supplementary Methods, Supplementary Table 1, Supplementary Figures 1–23.