Non-invasive digital etching of van der Waals semiconductors

Jian Zhou, Chunchen Zhang, Li Shi, Xiaoqing Chen, Tae Soo Kim, Minseung Gyeon, Jian Chen, Jinlan Wang, Linwei Yu, Xinran Wang, Kibum Kang, Emanuele Orgiu, Paolo Samorì, Kenji Watanabe, Takashi Taniguchi, Kazuhito Tsukagoshi, Peng Wang, Yi Shi, Songlin Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The capability to finely tailor material thickness with simultaneous atomic precision and non-invasivity would be useful for constructing quantum platforms and post-Moore microelectronics. However, it remains challenging to attain synchronized controls over tailoring selectivity and precision. Here we report a protocol that allows for non-invasive and atomically digital etching of van der Waals transition-metal dichalcogenides through selective alloying via low-temperature thermal diffusion and subsequent wet etching. The mechanism of selective alloying between sacrifice metal atoms and defective or pristine dichalcogenides is analyzed with high-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy. Also, the non-invasive nature and atomic level precision of our etching technique are corroborated by consistent spectral, crystallographic, and electrical characterization measurements. The low-temperature charge mobility of as-etched MoS2 reaches up to 1200 cm2 V−1s−1, comparable to that of exfoliated pristine counterparts. The entire protocol represents a highly precise and non-invasive tailoring route for material manipulation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1844
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Non-invasive digital etching of van der Waals semiconductors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this