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Gamma Radiation-Induced Oxidation, Doping, and Etching of Two-Dimensional MoS2 Crystals

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journal contribution
posted on 10.02.2021, 19:33 by Liam H. Isherwood, Gursharanpreet Athwal, Ben F. Spencer, Cinzia Casiraghi, Aliaksandr Baidak
Two-dimensional (2D) MoS2 is a promising material for future electronic and optoelectronic applications. 2D MoS2 devices have been shown to perform reliably under irradiation conditions relevant for a low Earth orbit. However, a systematic investigation of the stability of 2D MoS2 crystals under high-dose gamma irradiation is still missing. In this work, absorbed doses of up to 1000 kGy are administered to 2D MoS2. Radiation damage is monitored via optical microscopy and Raman, photoluminescence, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy techniques. After irradiation with 500 kGy dose, p-doping of the monolayer MoS2 is observed and attributed to the adsorption of O2 onto created vacancies. Extensive oxidation of the MoS2 crystal is attributed to reactions involving the products of adsorbate radiolysis. Edge-selective radiolytic etching of the uppermost layer in 2D MoS2 is attributed to the high reactivity of active edge sites. After irradiation with 1000 kGy, the monolayer MoS2 crystals appear to be completely etched. This holistic study reveals the previously unreported effects of high-dose gamma irradiation on the physical and chemical properties of 2D MoS2. Consequently, it demonstrates that radiation shielding, adsorbate concentrations, and required device lifetimes must be carefully considered, if devices incorporating 2D MoS2 are intended for use in high-dose radiation environments.