Controlling the metal to semiconductor transition of MoS2 and WS2 in solution

Stanley S. Chou, Yi Kai Huang, Jaemyung Kim, Bryan Kaehr, Brian M. Foley, Ping Lu, Conner Dykstra, Patrick E. Hopkins, C. Jeffrey Brinker, Jiaxing Huang, Vinayak P. Dravid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

150 Scopus citations


Lithiation-exfoliation produces single to few-layered MoS2 and WS2 sheets dispersible in water. However, the process transforms them from the pristine semiconducting 2H phase to a distorted metallic phase. Recovery of the semiconducting properties typically involves heating of the chemically exfoliated sheets at elevated temperatures. Therefore, it has been largely limited to sheets deposited on solid substrates. Here, we report the dispersion of chemically exfoliated MoS2 sheets in high boiling point organic solvents enabled by surface functionalization and the controllable recovery of their semiconducting properties directly in solution. This process connects the scalability of chemical exfoliation with the simplicity of solution processing, ultimately enabling a facile method for tuning the metal to semiconductor transitions of MoS2 and WS2 within a liquid medium.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1742-1745
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 11 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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