Preparation and applications of mechanically exfoliated single-layer and multilayer MoS2 and WSe2 nanosheets

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

1197 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1067-1075
Journal / PublicationAccounts of Chemical Research
Issue number4
Online published3 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


Although great progress has been achieved in the study of graphene, the small current ON/OFF ratio in graphene-based field-effect transistors (FETs) limits its application in the fields of conventional transistors or logic circuits for low-power electronic switching. Recently, layered transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) materials, especially MoS2, have attracted increasing attention. In contrast to its bulk material with an indirect band gap, a single-layer (1L) MoS2 nanosheet is a semiconductor with a direct band gap of ∼1.8 eV, which makes it a promising candidate for optoelectronic applications due to the enhancement of photoluminescence and high current ON/OFF ratio.Compared with TMD nanosheets prepared by chemical vapor deposition and liquid exfoliation, mechanically exfoliated ones possess pristine, clean, and high-quality structures, which are suitable for the fundamental study and potential applications based on their intrinsic thickness-dependent properties. In this Account, we summarize our recent research on the preparation, characterization, and applications of 1L and multilayer MoS2 and WSe2 nanosheets produced by mechanical exfoliation. During the preparation of nanosheets, we proposed a simple optical identification method to distinguish 1L and multilayer MoS2 and WSe2 nanosheets on a Si substrate coated with 90 and 300 nm SiO2. In addition, we used Raman spectroscopy to characterize mechanically exfoliated 1L and multilayer WSe2 nanosheets. For the first time, a new Raman peak at 308 cm-1 was observed in the spectra of WSe2 nanosheets except for the 1L WSe2 nanosheet. Importantly, we found that the 1L WSe2 nanosheet is very sensitive to the laser power during characterization. The high power laser-induced local oxidation of WSe2 nanosheets and single crystals was monitored by Raman spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Hexagonal and monoclinic structured WO3 thin films were obtained from the local oxidization of single- to triple-layer (1L-3L) and quadruple- to quintuple-layer (4L-5L) WSe2 nanosheets, respectively. Then, we present Raman characterization of shear and breathing modes of 1L and multilayer MoS 2 and WSe2 nanosheets in the low frequency range (<50 cm-1), which can be used to accurately identify the layer number of nanosheets. Magnetic force microscopy was used to characterize 1L and multilayer MoS2 nanosheets, and thickness-dependent magnetic response was found. In the last part, we briefly introduce the applications of 1L and multilayer MoS2 nanosheets in the fields of gas sensors and phototransistors.

Citation Format(s)