Thin films of layered semiconductors emerge as highly promising materials for energy harvesting and storage, optoelectronics and catalysis. Their natural propensity to grow as oriented crystals and films is one of their distinct properties under recent focal interest. Specifically, the reaction of transition metal films with chalcogen vapor can result in films of vertically aligned (VA) layers, while metal-oxides react with chalcogens in vapor phase to produce horizontally aligned crystals and films. The growth mechanisms of vertically oriented films are not yet fully understood, as well as their dependence on the initial metal film thickness and growth conditions. Moreover, the resulting electronic properties and the role of defects and disorder had not yet been studied, despite their critical influence on catalytic and device performance. In this work, we study the details of oriented growth of MoS2 with complementary theoretical and experimental approaches. We present a general theoretical model of diffusion-reaction growth that can be applied to a large variety of layered materials synthesized by solid-vapor reaction. Moreover, we inspect the relation of electronic properties to the structure of vertically aligned MoS2 and shed light on the density and character of defects in this material. Our measurements on Si-MoS2 p-n hetero-junction devices point to the existence of polarizable defects that impact applications of vertical transition-metal dichalcogenide materials.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
DN would like to thank the Israeli Science Foundation for funding of this work with grant #1055/15. The authors would like to thank Yafit Fleger for preparing TEM sample using focused ion beam, Ilana Perelshtein for assistance with TEM imaging.
© 2018, The Author(s).