Synthesis of transition metal dichalcogenides and their heterostructures

Yuhang Cai, Kai Xu, Wenjuan Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As compared to the heterostructures based on bulk materials, the heterostructures based on transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) have the advantages of atomically sharp hetero-interface and freedom from lattice-match restriction, which make them promising for nanoscale electronic and photonic devices. In this paper, we systematically investigate the synthesis of TMDC heterostructures using two-step processes via chemical vapor deposition (CVD). We found that if a MoS2 growth at 730 °C is followed by a WSe2 growth at 875 °C, the selenium atoms in the precursor will replace the sulfur atoms in MoS2 during the second step and form MoSe2/WSe2 lateral heterostructures. On the other hand, if WSe2 growth is followed by MoS2 growth, WSe2/MoS2 lateral heterostructures were formed and no ion-exchange was observed. This result indicates that in the two-step processes, low-temperature growth followed by high-temperature growth may result in ion-exchange in the first material, while high-temperature growth followed by low-temperature growth results in epitaxy growth along the edge without ion-exchange. In addition, we have investigated the synthesis of MoS2 and WSe2 on sapphire substrates. In contrast to MoS2 grown on SiO2/Si substrates where the domains are randomly oriented, the domain edges of MoS2 grown on sapphire substrates are mostly aligned to the primary directions, which can significantly reduce the amount of grain boundaries when the domains are merged together to form continuous films. This finding will be critical to enable the fabrication of large-scale electronic devices with high-performance and uniform distributions across the wafers based on these materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number095904
JournalMaterials Research Express
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2018


  • MoS
  • WSe
  • lateral heterostructure
  • sapphire substrate
  • transition metal dichalcogenide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys


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