Atomic scale study of black phosphorus degradation

Changbae Hyun, Jong Hun Kim, Jong Young Lee, Gwan Hyoung Lee, Kwang S. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Black phosphorus (BP) is a promising two-dimensional (2D) material for future electronic devices due to its unique properties of high carrier mobility and large band gap tunability. However, thinner crystalline BP is more readily degraded under ambient conditions. For BP-based electronic devices, degradation of the exfoliated BP is a key issue. However, the nanometer scale study of BP degradation is rare so far. Herein, we report an atomically resolved degradation process of the BP surface using atomic force microscopy under temperature- and humidity-controlled environments. The atomically resolved crystal surface of BP deteriorated due to surface etching after cleavage, and showed monolayer etching. The etching process is accelerated by applying a bias voltage to BP via a conductive tip. After the voltage-assisted BP etching, the BP etching product shows crystalline BP confirmed by Raman spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy. Our atomic scale study of BP will be useful for the future 2D-based electronic devices to overcome conventional silicon-based electronic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-355
Number of pages6
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2016R1D1A1B01011181 and National Honor Scientist Program: 2010-0020414). G. H. L acknowledges supports by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning (2018M3D1A1058794), and the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) and the Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Energy (MOTIE) of the Republic of Korea (No. 20173010013340) and Creative-Pioneering Researchers Program through Seoul National University (SNU).

Publisher Copyright:
This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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