Maruda Shanmugasundaram1 Ana Laura Elias2 Mauricio Terrones2 Humberto Terrones3

1, HORIBA Scientific, Piscataway, New Jersey, United States
2, Department of Physics and Center for 2-Dimensional and Layered Materials, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, United States
3, Department of Physics, Applied Physics and Astronomy, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York, United States

The growth of lateral heterostructures of transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) was recently demonstrated, which has created the potential for fabricating semiconductor devices with novel electronic properties. Specifically, it would combine distinct properties of materials derived from different sources into one device. It has been shown that under well-controlled growth conditions, MoS2-WS2 lateral heterostructures with atomically sharp interfaces can be synthesized. While the growth of such materials can be challenging, the development of analytical methods with the capability of providing chemical information, in addition to morphological information, with nanometer-scale spatial resolution is equally challenging.
Raman spectroscopy is used to study chemical composition of materials with high specificity, but it lacks sensitivity due to the inherent weakness of the Raman scattering phenomenon. Besides, its spatial resolution is diffraction-limited to ~0.5λ. These drawbacks can be overcome by combining Raman spectroscopy with Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) in which certain metal particles placed at the end of the SPM tip act as plasmonic substrate. This technique is referred to as tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS). This combination provides not only the benefits of both SPM and Raman microscopy at the same time, but also enables Raman mapping with spatial resolution proportional to the size of the coated SPM tip (well below the diffraction limit) due to plasmonic enhancement of Raman signal.
In this work, we present characterization of MoS2-WS2 lateral heterostructures based on morphology, electrical properties, photovoltaic properties, and chemical composition. Scanning Kelvin imaging was used to map the surface potential as well as electro-mechanical contrast proportional to capacitance from the heterostructures. Their surface potential and capacitance change dramatically in a reversible manner when the heterostructures are illuminated by a laser, highlighting their photovoltaic properties. Raman and photoluminescence (PL) maps were recorded with 532 nm excitation, which enabled collection of Raman and PL bands from both materials simultaneously with reasonable separation. In addition, tip-enhanced Raman and PL maps were collected across the interface, with sub-diffraction limited spatial resolution. In summary, a unique collection of characterization techniques were used based on AFM-Raman instrumentation to study morphological, electrical, photovoltaic properties, and chemical composition of MoS2–WS2 lateral heterostructures.