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Chin. Phys. B, 2022, Vol. 31(7): 076105    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/ac6738

Direct visualization of structural defects in 2D semiconductors

Yutuo Guo(郭玉拓)1,2, Qinqin Wang(王琴琴)1,2, Xiaomei Li(李晓梅)1,2, Zheng Wei(魏争)1,2, Lu Li(李璐)1,2, Yalin Peng(彭雅琳)1,2, Wei Yang(杨威)1,2, Rong Yang(杨蓉)1,2,3, Dongxia Shi(时东霞)1,2, Xuedong Bai(白雪冬)1,2, Luojun Du(杜罗军)1,2, and Guangyu Zhang(张广宇)1,2,3,†
1 Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics and Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China;
2 School of Physical Science, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
3 Songshan-Lake Materials Laboratory, Dongguan 523808, Guangdong Province, China
Abstract  Direct visualization of the structural defects in two-dimensional (2D) semiconductors at a large scale plays a significant role in understanding their electrical/optical/magnetic properties, but is challenging. Although traditional atomic resolution imaging techniques, such as transmission electron microscopy and scanning tunneling microscopy, can directly image the structural defects, they provide only local-scale information and require complex setups. Here, we develop a simple, non-invasive wet etching method to directly visualize the structural defects in 2D semiconductors at a large scale, including both point defects and grain boundaries. Utilizing this method, we extract successfully the defects density in several different types of monolayer molybdenum disulfide samples, providing key insights into the device functions. Furthermore, the etching method we developed is anisotropic and tunable, opening up opportunities to obtain exotic edge states on demand.
Keywords:  structural defects      direct visualization      molybdenum disulfide      anisotropic etching      edges  
Received:  15 March 2022      Revised:  06 April 2022      Accepted manuscript online:  14 April 2022
PACS:  61.72.Ff (Direct observation of dislocations and other defects (etch pits, decoration, electron microscopy, x-ray topography, etc.))  
  68.65.-k (Low-dimensional, mesoscopic, nanoscale and other related systems: structure and nonelectronic properties)  
Fund: Project supported by the Key-Area Research and Development Program of Guangdong Province, China (Grant No. 2020B0101340001), the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) (Grant No. XDB30000000), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 61888102 and 11834017).
Corresponding Authors:  Guangyu Zhang     E-mail:

Cite this article: 

Yutuo Guo(郭玉拓), Qinqin Wang(王琴琴), Xiaomei Li(李晓梅), Zheng Wei(魏争), Lu Li(李璐), Yalin Peng(彭雅琳), Wei Yang(杨威), Rong Yang(杨蓉), Dongxia Shi(时东霞), Xuedong Bai(白雪冬), Luojun Du(杜罗军), and Guangyu Zhang(张广宇) Direct visualization of structural defects in 2D semiconductors 2022 Chin. Phys. B 31 076105

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