Evolution of defect formation during atomically precise desulfurization of monolayer MoS2

Jong Young Lee, Jong Hun Kim, Yeonjoon Jung, June Chul Shin, Yangjin Lee, Kwanpyo Kim, Namwon Kim, Arend M. van der Zande, Jangyup Son, Gwan Hyoung Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Structural symmetry-breaking is a key strategy to modify the physical and chemical properties of two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides. However, little is known about defect formation during this process. Here, with atomic-scale microscopy, we investigate the evolution of defect formation in monolayer MoS2 exposed indirectly to hydrogen plasma. At the beginning of the treatment only top-layer sulfur atoms are removed, while vacancies and the molybdenum atomic layer are maintained. As processing continues, hexagonal-shaped nanocracks are generated along the zigzag edge during relaxation of defect-induced strain. As defect density increases, both photoluminescence and conductivity of MoS2 gradually decreases. Furthermore, MoS2 showed increased friction by 50% due to defect-induced contact stiffness. Our study reveals the details of defect formation during the desulfurization of MoS2 and helps to design the symmetry-breaking transition metal dichalcogenides, which is of relevance for applications including photocatalyst for water splitting, and Janus heterostructures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number80
JournalCommunications Materials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials


Dive into the research topics of 'Evolution of defect formation during atomically precise desulfurization of monolayer MoS2'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this