Two-dimensional (2D) materials such as transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) are receiving increasing attention due to their unique optical and electronic properties. Their possible applications include the production of transistors, photo detectors, light emitting diodes (LEDs) and photovoltaic cells. In order to produce high-quality devices, synthesis processes must be evaluated efficiently. Thus, non-destructive imaging techniques are required for monitoring crystal properties and features such as grain boundaries, layer number, defect density, doping and strain fields.
In our new application note, we present a series of measurements of CVD-grown mono-layer molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), which illustrate the advantages of correlative Raman, second harmonic generation (SHG) and photoluminescence (PL) microscopy for investigating TMDs. All measurements were performed at the same area of interest using a WITec alpha300 microscope equipped with a 532 nm laser for Raman and PL imaging and a picosecond-pulsed 1064 nm laser for SHG excitation.
Strain fields in the crystal were visualized by Raman and PL imaging, as both the frequency of the E2g Raman mode (upper left image) and the wavelength of the PL signal (lower left image) were red-shifted in the same areas. Rim effects around the border of the MoS2 flake were clearly visible in the PL image (lower left image), as well as in the image of the A1g Raman mode (see the attached application note).
SHG microscopy is sensitive to changes in crystal orientation and symmetry and visualized grain boundaries in the MoS2 flake (upper right picture). Additionally, polarization-dependent SHG measurements can identify the crystal orientation and reveal strain fields. To this end, the excitation polarization is rotated while recording the intensity of the SHG signal component that has the same polarization as the incident light. Polarization series were recorded in a fully automated manner at three positions of the MoS2 flake (lower right picture). The distinct patterns observed indicate different strain levels.
Correlative Raman, PL and SHG imaging yields complementary and consistent information for characterizing single-layer TMD crystals by visualizing features of the crystal structure, such as grain boundaries or strain fields, without damaging the sample.
For more details, including further pictures and references, please download our 2-page application note on correlative high-resolution imaging of MoS2.