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Nat Commun. 2014 May 7;5:3731. doi: 10.1038/ncomms4731.

Pressure-induced semiconducting to metallic transition in multilayered molybdenum disulphide.

Author information

1
1] Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712, USA [2].
2
1] Materials Research Center, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560-012, India [2].
3
1] Department of Geological Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712, USA [2] Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics, Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China.
4
Department of Geological Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712, USA.
5
Materials Research Center, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560-012, India.
6
Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics, Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China.
7
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712, USA.

Abstract

Molybdenum disulphide is a layered transition metal dichalcogenide that has recently raised considerable interest due to its unique semiconducting and opto-electronic properties. Although several theoretical studies have suggested an electronic phase transition in molybdenum disulphide, there has been a lack of experimental evidence. Here we report comprehensive studies on the pressure-dependent electronic, vibrational, optical and structural properties of multilayered molybdenum disulphide up to 35 GPa. Our experimental results reveal a structural lattice distortion followed by an electronic transition from a semiconducting to metallic state at ~19 GPa, which is confirmed by ab initio calculations. The metallization arises from the overlap of the valance and conduction bands owing to sulphur-sulphur interactions as the interlayer spacing reduces. The electronic transition affords modulation of the opto-electronic gain in molybdenum disulphide. This pressure-tuned behaviour can enable the development of novel devices with multiple phenomena involving the strong coupling of the mechanical, electrical and optical properties of layered nanomaterials.

PMID:
24806118
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms4731

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