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


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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Fig. 1: Realization of a p-type semiconductor, n-type semiconductor and highly conductive metal from the parent material (SnS2).
Fig. 2: STEM Z-contrast images and elemental maps of the Cu-intercalated SnS2.
Fig. 3: Electrical properties of SnS2, Cu-SnS2 and Co-SnS2 and their corresponding band structures by DFT simulation.
Fig. 4: Construction of SnS2, Cu-SnS2 and Co-SnS2 in-plane 2D heterostructures.


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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.

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Authors and Affiliations



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.

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Correspondence to Yi Cui.

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

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Gong, Y., Yuan, H., Wu, CL. et al. Spatially controlled doping of two-dimensional SnS2 through intercalation for electronics. Nature Nanotech 13, 294–299 (2018).

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