Technical: This collaborative research project aims to advance both scientific knowledge and synthesis of molybdenum disulfide in its atomically thin form. The research will elucidate the distinctive physical characteristics of this new material, including its electronic properties (band structure and its response to doping), optical properties (absorption, photoluminescence, and photoconductivity), vibrational properties (phonon frequencies and lifetimes), and its electrical transport properties (mobility and gating in different regimes). The principal investigators aim to develop a method for the synthesis of atomically thin MoS2 layers by a sequence of sulfur-loading of a copper surface followed by exposure to molybdenum. If successful, the research project will lead to practical methods to produce large-area samples of molybdenum disulfide in its atomically thin form and with controlled doping.
The project addresses basic research issues in a topical area of materials science with high technological relevance. The research elucidates the behavior in the single-layer limit of a semiconductor (as opposed to graphene, which is a semimetal and has no energy gap), contributes to our general understanding of materials on the nanoscale, and creates the basis for future applications of this and related material systems in electronics and optoelectronics. Graduate and undergraduate students are trained in an interdisciplinary environment. The project also promotes collaboration of scientists in two academic institutions with one of them being an accredited Minority Serving Institution.