Scanning Probe Lithography Patterning of Monolayer Semiconductors and Application in Quantifying Edge Recombination

Peida Zhao, Ruixuan Wang, Der Hsien Lien, Yingbo Zhao, Hyungjin Kim, Joy Cho, Geun Ho Ahn, Ali Javey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Scanning probe lithography is used to directly pattern monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) without the use of a sacrificial resist. Using an atomic-force microscope, a negatively biased tip is brought close to the TMD surface. By inducing a water bridge between the tip and the TMD surface, controllable oxidation is achieved at the sub-100 nm resolution. The oxidized flake is then submerged into water for selective oxide removal which leads to controllable patterning. In addition, by changing the oxidation time, thickness tunable patterning of multilayer TMDs is demonstrated. This resist-less process results in exposed edges, overcoming a barrier in traditional resist-based lithography and dry etch where polymeric byproduct layers are often formed at the edges. By patterning monolayers into geometric patterns of different dimensions and measuring the effective carrier lifetime, the non-radiative recombination velocity due to edge defects is extracted. Using this patterning technique, it is shown that selenide TMDs exhibit lower edge recombination velocity as compared to sulfide TMDs. The utility of scanning probe lithography towards understanding material-dependent edge recombination losses without significantly normalizing edge behaviors due to heavy defect generation, while allowing for eventual exploration of edge passivation schemes is highlighted, which is of profound interest for nanoscale electronics and optoelectronics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1900136
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number48
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Nov 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Shiekh Z. Uddin for assistance with theory and modeling. Scanning probe lithography and processing of monolayers were supported by NSF E3S Center. PL and TRPL measurements were supported by the Electronic Materials Program, funded by Director, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Materials Sciences and Engineering Division of the U.S. Department of Energy under contract no. DE-AC02-05Ch11231.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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