Spatial Control of Substitutional Dopants in Hexagonal Monolayer WS2: The Effect of Edge Termination

Tianyi Zhang, Mingzu Liu, Kazunori Fujisawa, Michael Lucking, Kory Beach, Fu Zhang, Maruda Shanmugasundaram, Andrey Krayev, William Murray, Yu Lei, Zhuohang Yu, David Sanchez, Zhiwen Liu, Humberto Terrones, Ana Laura Elías, Mauricio Terrones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The ability to control the density and spatial distribution of substitutional dopants in semiconductors is crucial for achieving desired physicochemical properties. Substitutional doping with adjustable doping levels has been previously demonstrated in 2D transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs); however, the spatial control of dopant distribution remains an open field. In this work, edge termination is demonstrated as an important characteristic of 2D TMD monocrystals that affects the distribution of substitutional dopants. Particularly, in chemical vapor deposition (CVD)-grown monolayer WS2, it is found that a higher density of transition metal dopants is always incorporated in sulfur-terminated domains when compared to tungsten-terminated domains. Two representative examples demonstrate this spatial distribution control, including hexagonal iron- and vanadium-doped WS2 monolayers. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations are further performed, indicating that the edge-dependent dopant distribution is due to a strong binding of tungsten atoms at tungsten-zigzag edges, resulting in the formation of open sites at sulfur-zigzag edges that enable preferential dopant incorporation. Based on these results, it is envisioned that edge termination in crystalline TMD monolayers can be utilized as a novel and effective knob for engineering the spatial distribution of substitutional dopants, leading to in-plane hetero-/multi-junctions that display fascinating electronic, optoelectronic, and magnetic properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2205800
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 8 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • General Chemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • General Materials Science
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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