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Electrical Characterization of Discrete Defects and Impact of Defect Density on Photoluminescence in Monolayer WS2

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journal contribution
posted on 10.01.2018, 00:00 by Matthew R. Rosenberger, Hsun-Jen Chuang, Kathleen M. McCreary, Connie H. Li, Berend T. Jonker
Transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) are an exciting class of 2D materials that exhibit many promising electronic and optoelectronic properties with potential for future device applications. The properties of TMDs are expected to be strongly influenced by a variety of defects which result from growth procedures and/or fabrication. Despite the importance of understanding defect-related phenomena, there remains a need for quantitative nanometer-scale characterization of defects over large areas in order to understand the relationship between defects and observed properties, such as photoluminescence (PL) and electrical conductivity. In this work, we present conductive atomic force microscopy measurements which reveal nanometer-scale electronically active defects in chemical vapor deposition-grown WS2 monolayers with defect density varying from 2.3 × 1010 cm–2 to 4.5 × 1011 cm–2. Comparing these defect density measurements with PL measurements across large areas (>20 μm distances) reveals a strong inverse relationship between WS2 PL intensity and defect density. We propose a model in which the observed electronically active defects serve as nonradiative recombination centers and obtain good agreement between the experiments and model.