Role of S-Vacancy Concentration in Air Oxidation of WS2 Single Crystals

Fabio Bussolotti,Hiroyo Kawai, Thathsara D. Maddumapatabandi, Wei Fu, Khoong Hong Khoo,Kuan Eng Johnson Goh

ACS NANO(2024)

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摘要
Semiconducting transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) are a class of two-dimensional materials with potential applications in optoelectronics, spintronics, valleytronics, and quantum information processing. Understanding their stability under ambient conditions is critical for determining their in-air processability during device fabrication and for predicting their long-term device performance stability. While the effects of environmental conditions (i.e., oxygen, moisture, and light) on TMD degradation are well-acknowledged, the role of defects in driving their oxidation remains unclear. We conducted a systematic X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy study on WS2 single crystals with different surface S-vacancy concentrations formed via controlled argon sputtering. Oxidation primarily occurred at defect concentrations >= 10%, resulting in stoichiometric WO3 formation, while a stable surface was observed at lower concentrations. Theoretical calculations informed us that single S-vacancies do not spontaneously oxidize, while defect pairing at high vacancy concentrations facilitates O-2 dissociation and subsequent oxide formation. Our XPS results also point to vacancy-related structural and electrostatic disorder as the main origin for the p-type characteristics that persists even after oxidation. Despite the complex interplay between defects and TMD oxidation processes, our work unveils scientifically informed guidance for working effectively with TMDs.
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关键词
transition metal dichalcogenides,ambient air oxidation,defects,ion irradiation,photoemission spectroscopy
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