Dislocation-driven growth of two-dimensional lateral quantum-well superlattices

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Science Advances  23 Mar 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 3, eaap9096
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aap9096

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The advent of two-dimensional (2D) materials has led to extensive studies of heterostructures for novel applications. 2D lateral multiheterojunctions and superlattices have been recently demonstrated, but the available growth methods can only produce features with widths in the micrometer or, at best, 100-nm scale and usually result in rough and defective interfaces with extensive chemical intermixing. Widths smaller than 5 nm, which are needed for quantum confinement effects and quantum-well applications, have not been achieved. We demonstrate the growth of sub–2-nm quantum-well arrays in semiconductor monolayers, driven by the climb of misfit dislocations in a lattice-mismatched sulfide/selenide heterointerface. Density functional theory calculations provide an atom-by-atom description of the growth mechanism. The calculated energy bands reveal type II alignment suitable for quantum wells, suggesting that the structure could, in principle, be turned into a “conduit” of conductive nanoribbons for interconnects in future 2D integrated circuits via n-type modulation doping. This misfit dislocation–driven growth can be applied to different combinations of 2D monolayers with lattice mismatch, paving the way to a wide range of 2D quantum-well superlattices with controllable band alignment and nanoscale width.

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