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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2018 Dec 12;10(49):42524-42533. doi: 10.1021/acsami.8b17145. Epub 2018 Nov 28.

Defect Engineering in Single-Layer MoS2 Using Heavy Ion Irradiation.

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Guangzhou Key Laboratory for Surface Chemistry of Energy Materials, New Energy Research Institute, School of Environment and Energy , South China University of Technology , Guangzhou 510006 , China.
School of Advanced Materials, Shenzhen Graduate School , Peking University , Shenzhen 518055 , China.
China Institute of Nuclear Information & Economics , Beijing 100871 , China.
Department of Electrical Engineering , The Pennsylvania State University , University Park , Pennsylvania 16802 , United States.
State Key Laboratory of Nuclear Physics and Technology, School of Physics , Peking University , Beijing 100871 , China.
Materials Science and Engineering , Georgia Institute of Technology , Atlanta , Georgia 30332-0245 , United States.


Transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) have attracted much attention due to their promising optical, electronic, magnetic, and catalytic properties. Engineering the defects in TMDs represents an effective way to achieve novel functionalities and superior performance of TMDs devices. However, it remains a significant challenge to create defects in TMDs in a controllable manner or to correlate the nature of defects with their functionalities. In this work, taking single-layer MoS2 as a model system, defects with controlled densities are generated by 500 keV Au irradiation with different ion fluences, and the generated defects are mostly S vacancies. We further show that the defects introduced by ion irradiation can significantly affect the properties of the single-layer MoS2, leading to considerable changes in its photoluminescence characteristics and electrocatalytic behavior. As the defect density increases, the characteristic photoluminescence peak of MoS2 first blueshifts and then redshifts, which is likely due to the electron transfer from MoS2 to the adsorbed O2 at the defect sites. The generation of the defects can also strongly improve the hydrogen evolution reaction activity of MoS2, attributed to the modified adsorption of atomic hydrogen at the defects.


MoS2; PL; Raman; defect engineering; ion beam


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