Photodegradation Protection in 2D In-Plane Heterostructures Revealed by Hyperspectral Nanoimaging: The Role of Nanointerface 2D Alloys

A. Fali, T. Zhang, J. P. Terry, E. Kahn, K. Fujisawa, B. Kabius, S. Koirala, Y. Ghafouri, D. Zhou, W. Song, L. Yang, M. Terrones and Y. Abate

ACS Nano, Article ASAP (2021)
Single-layer heterostructures exhibit striking quasiparticle properties and many-body interaction effects that hold promise for a range of applications. However, their properties can be altered by intrinsic and extrinsic defects, thus diminishing their applicability. Therefore, it is of paramount importance to identify defects and understand 2D materials’ degradation over time using advanced multimodal imaging techniques. Here we implemented a liquid-phase precursor approach to synthesize 2D in-plane MoS2–WS2 heterostructures exhibiting nanoscale alloyed interfaces and map exotic interface effects during photodegradation using a combination of hyperspectral tip-enhanced photoluminescence and Raman and near-field nanoscopy. Surprisingly, 2D alloyed regions exhibit thermal and photodegradation stability providing protection against oxidation. Coupled with surface and interface strain, 2D alloy regions create stable localized potential wells that concentrate excitonic species via a charge carrier funneling effect. These results demonstrate that 2D alloys can withstand extreme degradation effects over time and could enable stable 2D device engineering.