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  1. Achieving large-size two-dimensional (2D) crystals is key to fully exploiting their remarkable functionalities and application potentials. Chemical vapor deposition growth of 2D semiconductors such as monolayer MoS 2 has been reported to be activated by halide salts, for which various investigations have been conducted to understand the underlying mechanism from different aspects. Here, we provide experimental evidence showing that the MoS 2 growth dynamics are halogen dependent through the Brønsted-Evans-Polanyi relation, based on which we build a growth model by considering MoS 2 edge passivation by halogens, and theoretically reproduce the trend of our experimental observations. These mechanistic understandings enable us to further optimize the fast growth of MoS 2 and reach record-large domain sizes that should facilitate practical applications. 
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  4. Abstract

    Tin (II) selenide (SnSe) is an emerging 2D material with many intriguing properties, such as record‐high thermoelectric figure of merit (ZT), purely in‐plane ferroelectricity, and excellent nonlinear optical properties. To explore these functional properties and related applications, a crucial step is to develop controllable routes to synthesize large‐area, ultrathin, and high‐quality SnSe crystals. Physical vapor deposition (PVD) constitutes a reliable method to synthesize 2D SnSe, however, effects of various growth parameters have not yet been systematically investigated, and current PVD‐synthesized flakes are often thick (>10 nm) with small lateral sizes (<10 µm). In this work, high‐quality 2D SnSe crystals are synthesized via low‐pressure PVD, which display in‐plane ferroelectric domains observed by piezoresponse force microscopy and polarization‐dependent reflection spectroscopy. Detailed studies regarding the roles of various parameters are further carried out, including substrate pre‐annealing, growth duration, temperature, and pressure, which enable to rationally optimize the growth and obtain 2D SnSe crystals with lateral sizes up to ≈23.0 µm and thicknesses down to ≈2.0 nm (3–4 layers). This work paves the way for the controlled growth of large‐area 2D SnSe, facilitating the future exploration of many interesting multiferroic properties and applications with atomic thickness.

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  5. Abstract

    Thin ferroelectric materials hold great promise for compact nonvolatile memory and nonlinear optical and optoelectronic devices. Herein, an ultrathin in‐plane ferroelectric material that exhibits a giant nonlinear optical effect, group‐IV monochalcogenide SnSe, is reported. Nanometer‐scale ferroelectric domains with ≈90°/270° twin boundaries or ≈180° domain walls are revealed in physical‐vapor‐deposited SnSe by lateral piezoresponse force microscopy. Atomic structure characterization reveals both parallel and antiparallel stacking of neighboring van der Waals ferroelectric layers, leading to ferroelectric or antiferroelectric ordering. Ferroelectric domains exhibit giant nonlinear optical activity due to coherent enhancement of second‐harmonic fields and the as‐resulted second‐harmonic generation was observed to be 100 times more intense than monolayer WS2. This work demonstrates in‐plane ferroelectric ordering and giant nonlinear optical activity in SnSe, which paves the way for applications in on‐chip nonlinear optical components and nonvolatile memory devices.

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  6. Abstract

    The large‐area synthesis of high‐quality MoS2plays an important role in realizing industrial applications of optoelectronics, nanoelectronics, and flexible devices. However, current techniques for chemical vapor deposition (CVD)‐grown MoS2require a high synthetic temperature and a transfer process, which limits its utilization in device fabrications. Here, the direct synthesis of high‐quality monolayer MoS2with the domain size up to 120 µm by metal‐organic CVD (MOCVD) at a temperature of 320 °C is reported. Owing to the low‐substrate temperature, the MOCVD‐grown MoS2exhibits low impurity doping and nearly unstrained properties on the growth substrate, demonstrating enhanced electronic performance with high electron mobility of 68.3 cm2V−1s−1at room temperature. In addition, by tuning the precursor ratio, a better understanding of the MoS2growth process via a geometric model of the MoS2flake shape, is developed, which can provide further guidance for the synthesis of 2D materials.

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  7. Abstract

    Advanced microscopy and/or spectroscopy tools play indispensable roles in nanoscience and nanotechnology research, as they provide rich information about material processes and properties. However, the interpretation of imaging data heavily relies on the “intuition” of experienced researchers. As a result, many of the deep graphical features obtained through these tools are often unused because of difficulties in processing the data and finding the correlations. Such challenges can be well addressed by deep learning. In this work, the optical characterization of 2D materials is used as a case study, and a neural‐network‐based algorithm is demonstrated for the material and thickness identification of 2D materials with high prediction accuracy and real‐time processing capability. Further analysis shows that the trained network can extract deep graphical features such as contrast, color, edges, shapes, flake sizes, and their distributions, based on which an ensemble approach is developed to predict the most relevant physical properties of 2D materials. Finally, a transfer learning technique is applied to adapt the pretrained network to other optical identification applications. This artificial‐intelligence‐based material characterization approach is a powerful tool that would speed up the preparation, initial characterization of 2D materials and other nanomaterials, and potentially accelerate new material discoveries.

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