Direct TEM observations of growth mechanisms of two-dimensional MoS 2 flakes

Linfeng Fei, Shuijin Lei, Wei Bing Zhang, Wei Lu, Ziyuan Lin, Chi Hang Lam, Yang Chai, Yu Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

178 Citations (Scopus)


A microscopic understanding of the growth mechanism of two-dimensional materials is of particular importance for controllable synthesis of functional nanostructures. Because of the lack of direct and insightful observations, how to control the orientation and the size of two-dimensional material grains is still under debate. Here we discern distinct formation stages for MoS 2 flakes from the thermolysis of ammonium thiomolybdates using in situ transmission electron microscopy. In the initial stage (400 °C), vertically aligned MoS 2 structures grow in a layer-by-layer mode. With the increasing temperature of up to 780 °C, the orientation of MoS 2 structures becomes horizontal. When the growth temperature reaches 850 °C, the crystalline size of MoS 2 increases by merging adjacent flakes. Our study shows direct observations of MoS 2 growth as the temperature evolves, and sheds light on the controllable orientation and grain size of two-dimensional materials.
Original languageEnglish
Article number12206
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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