Layer Thinning and Etching of Mechanically Exfoliated MoS2 Nanosheets by Thermal Annealing in Air



A simple thermal annealing method for layer thinning and etching of mechanically exfoliated MoS2 nanosheets in air is reported. Using this method, single-layer (1L) MoS2 nanosheets are achieved after the thinning of MoS2 nanosheets from double-layer (2L) to quadri-layer (4L) at 330 °C. The as-prepared 1L MoS2 nanosheet shows comparable optical and electrical properties with the mechanically exfoliated, pristine one. In addition, for the first time, the MoS2 mesh with high-density of triangular pits is also fabricated at 330 °C, which might arise from the anisotropic etching of the active MoS2 edge sites. As a result of thermal annealing in air, the thinning of MoS2 nanosheet is possible due to its oxidation to form MoO3. Importantly, the MoO3 fragments on the top of thinned MoS2 layer induces the hole injection, resulting in the p-type channel in fabricated field-effect transistors.