Tailoring synthesis of high-vacancy MoSe2-x monolayer crystals
by Masoud Mahjouri-Samani, Liangbo Liang, Akinola Oyedele, et al.
Defect engineering has been a critical step in controlling the transport characteristics of electronic devices, and the ability to create, tune, and annihilate defects is essential to enable the range of next-generation devices. Whereas defect formation has been well-demonstrated in three-dimensional semiconductors, similar exploration of the heterogeneity in atomically thin two-dimensional semiconductors and the link between their atomic structures, defects, and properties has not yet been extensively studied. Here, we demonstrate the growth of MoSe2−x single crystals with selenium (Se) vacancies far beyond intrinsic levels, up to ∼ 20%, that exhibit a remarkable transition in electrical transport properties from n- to p-type character with increasing Se vacancy concentration. A new defect-activated phonon band at ∼ 250 cm−1 appears, and the A1g Raman characteristic mode at 240 cm−1 softens toward ∼ 230 cm−1 which serves as a fingerprint of vacancy concentration in the crystals. We show that post-selenization using pulsed laser evaporated Se atoms can repair Se-vacant sites to nearly recover the properties of the pristine crystals. First-principles calculations reveal the underlying mechanisms for the corresponding vacancy induced electrical and optical transitions.