The first progress of plasma-based transition metal dichalcogenide synthesis: a stable 1T phase and promising applications
Two-dimensional (2D) transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) have attracted attention as polymorphs depending on their phases (1T and 2H) when applying typical synthesis methods. The 2H phase is generally synthesised through chemical vapour deposition (CVD) on a wafer-scale at high temperatures, and many synthesis methods have been reported owing to their thermodynamic stability and semiconductor properties. By contrast, although the 1T phase is meta-stable with an octahedral coordination, thereby limiting the use of synthesis methods, the recent structural advantage in terms of the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER) has been emphasised. Despite this demand, no large-area thin-film synthesis method for 1T-TMDs has been developed. Among several strategies of synthesizing metallic-phase (1T) TMDs, chemical exfoliation (alkali metal intercalation) is a major strategy and others have been used for electron-beam irradiation, laser irradiation, defects, plasma hot electron transfer, and mechanical strain. Therefore, we suggest an innovative synthesis method using plasma-enhanced CVD (PECVD) for both the 1T and 2H phases of TMDs (MoS2 and WS2). Because ions and radicals are accelerated to the substrate within the sheath region, a high-temperature source is not needed for vapour ionisation, and thus the process temperature can be significantly lowered (150 °C). Moreover, a 4-inch wafer-scale of a thin film is an advantage and can be synthesised on arbitrary substrates (SiO2/Si wafer, glassy carbon electrode, Teflon, and polyimide). Furthermore, the PECVD method was applied to TMD-graphene heterostructure films with a graphene-transferred substrate, and for the first time, sequential metal seed layer depositions of W (1 nm) and Mo (1 nm) were sulfurized to MoS2-WS2 vertical heterostructures with Ar + H2S plasma. We considered the prospects and challenges of the new PECVD method in the development of practical applications in next-generation integrated electronics, HER catalysts, and flexible biosensors.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Popular Advances