Monolayer black phosphorus by sequential wet-chemical surface oxidation
We report a straightforward chemical methodology for controlling the thickness of black phosphorus flakes down to the monolayer limit by layer-by-layer oxidation and thinning, using water as solubilizing agent. Moreover, the oxidation process can be stopped at will by two different passivation procedures, namely the non-covalent functionalization with perylene diimide chromophores, which prevents the photooxidation, or by using a protective ionic liquid layer. The obtained flakes preserve their electronic properties as demonstrated by fabricating a BP field-effect transistor (FET). This work paves the way for the preparation of BP devices with controlled thickness.