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Interfacing Transition Metal Dichalcogenides with Carbon Nanodots for Managing Photoinduced Energy and Charge-Transfer Processes

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journal contribution
posted on 17.09.2018, 00:00 by Lorenzo Vallan, Ruben Canton-Vitoria, Habtom B. Gobeze, Youngwoo Jang, Raul Arenal, Ana M. Benito, Wolfgang K. Maser, Francis D’Souza, Nikos Tagmatarchis
Exfoliated semiconducting MoS2 and WS2 were covalently functionalized with 1,2-dithiolane-modified carbon nanodots (CNDs). The newly synthesized CND-MoS2 and CND-WS2 hybrids were characterized by spectroscopic, thermal, and electron microscopy imaging methods. Based on electronic absorption and fluorescence emission spectroscopy, modulation of the optoelectronic properties of TMDs by interfacing with CNDs was accomplished. Electrochemical studies revealed facile oxidation of MoS2 over WS2 in the examined hybrids, suggesting it to be better electron donor. Excited state events, investigated by femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopic studies, revealed ultrafast energy transfer from photoexcited CNDs to both MoS2 and WS2. Interestingly, upon MoS2 photoexcitation, charge transfer from an exciton dissociation path of MoS2 to CNDs, within CND-MoS2, was observed. However, such a process in CND-WS2 was found to be absent due to energetic reasons. The present study highlights the importance of TMD-derived donor–acceptor hybrids in light energy harvesting and optoelectronic applications. Furthermore, the fundamental information obtained from the current results will benefit design strategies and impact the development of additional TMD-based hybrid materials to efficiently manage and perform in electron-transfer processes.