Universal In Situ Substitutional Doping of Transition Metal Dichalcogenides by Liquid-Phase Precursor-Assisted Synthesis

Tianyi Zhang, Kazunori Fujisawa, Fu Zhang, Mingzu Liu, Michael C. Lucking, Rafael Nunes Gontijo, Yu Lei, He Liu, Kevin Crust, Tomotaroh Granzier-Nakajima, Humberto Terrones, Ana Laura Elías, Mauricio Terrones

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106 Scopus citations


Doping lies at the heart of modern semiconductor technologies. Therefore, for two-dimensional (2D) semiconducting transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), the significance of controlled doping is no exception. Recent studies have indicated that, by substitutionally doping 2D TMDs with a judicious selection of dopants, their electrical, optical, magnetic, and catalytic properties can be effectively tuned, endowing them with great potential for various practical applications. Herein, and inspired by the sol-gel process, we report a liquid-phase precursor-assisted approach for in situ substitutional doping of monolayered TMDs and their in-plane heterostructures with tunable doping concentration. This highly reproducible route is based on the high-temperature chalcogenation of spin-coated aqueous solutions containing host and dopant precursors. The precursors are mixed homogeneously at the atomic level in the liquid phase prior to the synthesis process, thus allowing for an improved doping uniformity and controllability. We further demonstrate the incorporation of various transition metal atoms, such as iron (Fe), rhenium (Re), and vanadium (V), into the lattice of TMD monolayers to form Fe-doped WS2, Re-doped MoS2, and more complex material systems such as V-doped in-plane WxMo1-xS2-MoxW1-xS2 heterostructures, among others. We envisage that our developed approach is universal and could be extended to incorporate a variety of other elements into 2D TMDs and create in-plane heterointerfaces in a single step, which may enable applications such as electronics and spintronics at the 2D limit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4326-4335
Number of pages10
JournalACS nano
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 28 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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