Spontaneous crystal fluctuation in hydrocarbon polymer–coated monolayer MoS2, MoSe2, WS2, and WSe2 with strong photoluminescence enhancement

18 April 2023, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


A large number of experimental results have been published on the improvement of optical properties in monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) by probing with photoluminescence (PL) intensity. Remarkable improvement in PL intensity in sulfur-based compounds, such as MoS2 and WS2, has almost been established by chemical treatment methods, such as p-type dopants and superacids; in contrast, selenium-based compounds of MoSe2, especially WSe2, have a very limited strategy. One potential strategy for improving PL intensity in all compounds would be to remove the substrate effect by mechanical floating of the monolayers from the underneath substrate material. However, floating the monolayer is difficult; it is possible if the monolayer does transfer to the trenches of substrates, and a post-preparation method has not been established. In this paper, we developed a universal post-preparation method for removing the substrate effect by a spontaneous fluctuation of monolayer TMDCs via coating with a simple hydrocarbon, paraffin. Because of the large thermal coefficient of paraffin, the stain is effectively applied to the TMDCs in the coating process. The paraffin-coated monolayer TMDCs show spontaneous fluctuation; and in an extreme case, the fluctuation forms the shape of a bundle. During the fluctuation and deformation, the substrate effect was removed; as a result, PL intensity improved remarkably in both sulfur- and selenium-based compounds of MoS2, WS2, MoSe2, and WSe2. This work suggests a universal strategy for improving the optical property of monolayer TMDCs by removing the substrate effect. It also extends the design of applying TMDCs as optoelectronics material due to the transparency, flexibility, and biocompatibility of the paraffin.


Transition metal dichalcogenides
Crystal fluctuation

Supplementary materials

Supporting information
The supporting information includes PL enhancement of WS2 on a quartz substrate, the raw data of PL spectra shown in Figure 2, subsequent optical microscope images in the process shown in Figure 5, the height profile of the sample with atomic force microscope, and a deformed sample showing PL enhancement with a downshifting PL peak signal in the deformed area.


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