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ACS Nano. 2013 Nov 26;7(11):10083-93. doi: 10.1021/nn4041987. Epub 2013 Oct 24.

Electrochemical control of photoluminescence in two-dimensional MoS(2) nanoflakes.

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School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, RMIT University , Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.


Two-dimensional (2D) transition metal dichalcogenide semiconductors offer unique electronic and optical properties, which are significantly different from their bulk counterparts. It is known that the electronic structure of 2D MoS2, which is the most popular member of the family, depends on the number of layers. Its electronic structure alters dramatically at near atomically thin morphologies, producing strong photoluminescence (PL). Developing processes for controlling the 2D MoS2 PL is essential to efficiently harness many of its optical capabilities. So far, it has been shown that this PL can be electrically or mechanically gated. Here, we introduce an electrochemical approach to actively control the PL of liquid-phase-exfoliated 2D MoS2 nanoflakes by manipulating the amount of intercalated ions including Li(+), Na(+), and K(+) into and out of the 2D crystal structure. These ions are selected as they are crucial components in many bioprocesses. We show that this controlled intercalation allows for large PL modulations. The introduced electrochemically controlled PL will find significant applications in future chemical and bio-optical sensors as well as optical modulators/switches.

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