Dynamics of cleaning, passivating and doping monolayer MoS2 by controlled laser irradiation

Rahul Rao, Victor Carozo, Yuanxi Wang, Ahmad E. Islam, Nestor Perea-Lopez, Kazunori Fujisawa, Vincent H. Crespi, Mauricio Terrones, Benji Maruyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Lattice defects (mainly chalcogen vacancies) drastically affect the optoelectronic properties of monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) grown by chemical vapor deposition (CVD). They can be passivated through charge-transfer doping by laser irradiation in air. Here we perform a systematic in situ study to elucidate the passivation mechanism upon laser irradiation and show a way to controllably n-dope CVD-grown monolayer MoS2 on SiO2 substrates. By combining resonance Raman and photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy we show that an increase in defect density correlates with a redshifted PL emission and hence an increase in electron density. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations identify chalcogen vacancies to be facilitators (not the source) of n-doping, and population of mid-gap levels upon doping lowers the activation barrier for O2 adsorption from 0.3 to 0.03 eV. Laser irradiation aids in the oxygen-passivation of chalcogen vacancies, manifested by an increase in PL intensity and blueshifted emission, and this blueshift is determined by the laser power density. The passivation occurs on two timescales, with the removal of surface adsorbates first, followed by oxygen adsorption at the sulfur vacancy sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number045031
Journal2D Materials
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 16 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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