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Self-Expanding Molten Salt-Driven Growth of Patterned Transition-Metal Dichalcogenide Crystals

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posted on 04.05.2022, 22:43 authored by Dingding Jiang, Xuejun Wang, Renzhong Chen, Jiang Sun, Hua Kang, Daizong Ji, Yunqi Liu, Dacheng Wei
Transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) have been considered potential materials for the next generation of semiconductors. Realizing controllable growth of TMD crystals is a prerequisite for their future applications, which remains challenging. Here, we reveal a new mechanism of self-expanding molten salt-driven growth for a salt-assisted method and achieve the patterned growth of TMD single-crystal arrays with a size of hundreds of micrometers. Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectroscopy and other spectroscopy characterizations identify the component of the molten salt solution. Microscopic characterizations reveal the existence of salt solution as an interlayer between a TMD monolayer and the silicon substrate as well as particles along the crystal edge. The edged salt solution serves as a self-expanding liquid substrate, which confines the reactive sites to the localized liquid surface, thus avoiding random nucleation. The surface reaction also assures monolayer crystal formation due to self-limiting growth. Besides, the liquid substrate affords sources and spreads itself continuously owing to the nonwetting effect on TMD crystals, thereby facilitating the continuous extension of the TMD monolayer. This work provides novel insights into the controllable synthesis of TMD monolayers and paves the way for the fabrication of TMD-based integrated functional devices.