One dimensional metallic edges in atomically thin WSe2 induced by air exposure

Rafik Addou, Christopher M. Smyth, Ji Young Noh, Yu Chuan Lin, Yi Pan, Sarah M. Eichfeld, Stefan Fölsch, Joshua A. Robinson, Kyeongjae Cho, Randall M. Feenstra, Robert M. Wallace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Transition metal dichalcogenides are a unique class of layered two-dimensional (2D) crystals with extensive promising applications. Tuning the electronic properties of low-dimensional materials is vital for engineering new functionalities. Surface oxidation is of particular interest because it is a relatively simple method of functionalization. By means of scanning probe microscopy and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, we report the observation of metallic edges in atomically thin WSe2 monolayers grown by chemical vapor deposition on epitaxial graphene. Scanning tunneling microscopy shows structural details of WSe2 edges and scanning tunneling spectroscopy reveals the metallic nature of the oxidized edges. Photoemission demonstrates that the formation of metallic sub-stoichiometric tungsten oxide (WO2.7) is responsible for the high conductivity measured along the edges. Ab initio calculations validate the susceptibility of WSe2 nanoribbon edges to oxidation. The zigzag terminated edge exhibits metallic behavior prior the air-exposure and remains metallic after oxidation. Comprehending and exploiting this property opens a new opportunity for application in advanced electronic devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number025017
Journal2D Materials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 8 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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