Salt-assisted high-throughput synthesis of single- and few-layer transition metal dichalcogenides and their application in organic solar cells

Liyong Niu, Kan Li, Hongyu Zhen, Ying San Chui, Wenjun Zhang, Feng Yan, Zijian Zheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


A modified liquid-phase ultrasonication method, namely 'salt-assisted liquid-phase exfoliation' is studied, which yields single- and few-layer transition metal dichalcogenides (TMD) 2D sheets including in a large quantity and high quality by simple ultrasonication of TMD bulk crystals in liquid solvents with the aid of low-cost and non-toxic inorganic salts. In this salt-assisted synthesis, powders of TMD crystals are immersed in an inorganic salt containing aqueous solution, and salt ions are allowed to enter into the inter-layer spaces of TMD crystals as the solution becomes supersaturate upon water evaporation. This intermediate product is then exfoliated easily into corresponding single- and few layer 2D sheets by low power ultrasonication in an organic solvent. As proof-of-concept, solution casted thin films of MoS22D sheets were integrated into organic solar cells (OSCs) to serve as the HTL, which shows a remarkable improvement of the Vocfrom 0.34 V to 0.58 V. Because the synthesis does not require any hazardous chemicals, electrochemical setup, or special reaction chamber, the salt-assisted strategy is very promising to scale up for mass production in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4651-4657
Number of pages7
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)

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