One of the major challenges facing the rapidly growing field of two-dimensional (2D) transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) is the development of growth techniques to enable large-area synthesis of high-quality materials. Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) is one of the leading techniques for the synthesis of TMDCs; however, the quality of the material produced is limited by defects formed during the growth process. A very useful nondestructive technique that can be utilized to probe defects in semiconductors is the room-temperature photoluminescence (PL) quantum yield (QY). It was recently demonstrated that a PL QY near 100% can be obtained in MoS2 and WS2 monolayers prepared by micromechanical exfoliation by treating samples with an organic superacid: bis(trifluoromethane)sulfonimide (TFSI). Here we have performed a thorough exploration of this chemical treatment on CVD-grown MoS2 samples. We find that the as-grown monolayers must be transferred to a secondary substrate, which releases strain, to obtain high QY by TFSI treatment. Furthermore, we find that the sulfur precursor temperature during synthesis of the MoS2 plays a critical role in the effectiveness of the treatment. By satisfying the aforementioned conditions we show that the PL QY of CVD-grown monolayers can be improved from ∼0.1% in the as-grown case to ∼30% after treatment, with enhancement factors ranging from 100 to 1500× depending on the initial monolayer quality. We also found that after TFSI treatment the PL emission from MoS2 films was visible by eye despite the low absorption (5-10%). The discovery of an effective passivation strategy will speed the development of scalable high-performance optoelectronic and electronic devices based on MoS2.
- biexcitonic recombination
- chemical vapor deposition
- quantum yield
- radiative lifetime
- transition metal dichalcogenide