Structure Characterization and Electronic Properties Investigation of Two-Dimensional Materials

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Virginia Tech

This dissertation will have three chapters. In chapter one, a comprehensive review on defects in two dimensional materials will be presented. The aim of this review is to elaborate on different types of defects in two dimensional (2D) materials like graphene and transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs). First, different types of point and line defects, e.g. vacancies, anti-sites, guest elements, adatoms, vacancy clusters, grain boundaries, and edges, in these materials are categorized in terms of structure. Second, interactions among defects are discussed in terms of their rearrangement for low-energy configurations. Before studying the electronic and magnetic properties of defective 2D materials, some of the structures are considered in order to see how defect structure evolves to a stable defect configuration. Next, the influence of defects on electronic and magnetic properties of 2D materials is discussed. Finally, the dynamic behavior of defects and 2D structures under conditions such as electron beam irradiation, heat treatment, and ambient conditions, is discussed. Later as a case study, defects in a two dimensional transition metal dichalcogenide will be presented. Among two-dimensional (2D) transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), platinum diselenide (PtSe2) stands at a unique place in the sense that it undergoes a phase transition from type-II Dirac semimetal to indirect-gap semiconductor as thickness decreases. Defects in 2D TMDs are ubiquitous and play crucial roles in understanding and tuning electronic, optical, and magnetic properties. Here intrinsic point defects in ultrathin 1T-PtSe2 layers grown on mica were investigated through the chemical vapor transport (CVT) method, using scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy (STM/STS) and first-principles calculations. Five types of distinct defects were observed from STM topography images and the local density of states of the defects were obtained. By combining the STM results with first-principles calculations, the types and characteristics of these defects were identified, which are Pt vacancies at the topmost and next monolayers, Se vacancies in the topmost monolayer, and Se antisites at Pt sites within the topmost monolayer. Our study shows that the Se antisite defects are the most abundant with the lowest formation energy in a Se-rich growth condition, in contrast to cases of 2D molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) family. Our findings would provide critical insight into tuning of carrier mobility, charge carrier relaxation, and electron-hole recombination rates by defect engineering or varying growth condition in few-layer 1T-PtSe2 and other related 2D materials. Also, in order to investigate the layer dependency of vibrational and electronic properties of two dimensional materials, 2M-WS2 material was selected. Raman spectroscopy and DFT calculation proved that all Raman active modes have a downshift when material is thinned to few layers (less than 5 layers). It was proven that there is a strong interaction between layers such that by decreasing the number of layers, the downshift in Raman active modes is mostly for the ones which belong to out-of-plane atomic movements and the most downshift is for the Ag2 Raman active mode. Also, I investigated the effect of number of layers on the band structure and electronic properties of this material. As the number of layers decreases, band gap does not change until the materials is thinned down to only a single monolayer. For a single monolayer of 2M-WS2, there is an indirect band gap of 0.05eV; however, with applying in-plane strain to this monolayer, the material takes a metallic behavior as the strain goes beyond ±1%.

2D Materials, DFT, STM, STS, Raman Spectroscopy, Defects, SEAQT