High-Yield Exfoliation of Monolayer 1T'-MoTe2 as Saturable Absorber for Ultrafast Photonics

W. Yu, Z. Dong, I. Abdelwahab, X. Zhao, J. Shi, Y. Shao, J. Li, X. Hu, R. Li, T. Ma, Z. Wang, Q. H. Xu, D. Y. Tang, Y. Song, K. P. Loh

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Liquid-phase exfoliation can be developed for the large-scale production of two-dimensional materials for photonic applications. Although atomically thin 2D transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) show enhanced nonlinear optical properties or photoluminescence quantum yield relative to the bulk phase, these properties are weak in the absolute sense due to the ultrashort optical path, and they are also sensitive to layer-dependent symmetry properties. Another practical issue is that the chemical stability of some TMDs (e.g., Weyl semimetals) decreases dramatically as the thickness scales down to monolayer, precluding application as optical components in air. To address these issues, a way of exfoliating TMDs that ensures instantaneous passivation needs to be developed. Here, we employed a polymer-assisted electrochemical exfoliation strategy to synthesize PVP-passivated TMDs monolayers that could be spin coated and restacked into organic-inorganic superlattices with well-defined X-ray diffraction patterns. The segregation of restacked TMDs (e.g., MoS2) by PVP allows the inversion asymmetry of individual layers to be maintained in these superlattices, which allows second harmonic generation and photoluminescence to be linearly scaled with thickness. PVP-passivated monolayer 1T'-MoTe2 saturable absorber fabricated from these flakes exhibits fast response and recovery time (
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18448
Number of pages18457
JournalACS Nano
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • 1T'-MoTe2 electrochemical exfoliation mode-locking organic-inorganic superlattice transition metal dichalcogenide


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