Surface & Interface Modeling
for Emerging Nanomaterials and Devices

Direct imaging of kinetic pathways of atomic diffusion in monolayer molybdenum disulfide

Jinhua Hong1, §, Yuhao Pan2, §, Zhixin Hu2, Danhui Lv1, Wei Ji2, *, Chuanhong Jin1, *,Jun Yuan3, Ze Zhang1

1State Key Laboratory of Silicon Materials, Key Laboratory of Advanced Materials and Applications for Batteries of Zhejiang Province, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310027, China.
2Beijing Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Functional Materials & Micro-Nano Devices,Department of Physics, Renmin University of China, Beijing 100872, China
3Department of Physics, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom
§ These authors contributed equally to this work.
Correspondence and request for materials should be addressed to C.J. (, W.J. (

DOI:10.1021/acs.nanolett.6b05342    Publication Date: May 26, 2017


The motion of microscopic particles is always at the heart of modern physics research, among which the random migration of atom or molecule is a fundamental but charming issue. In surface science, probing their metastable states down to atomic scale is always of crucial importance to discover the underlying kinetics, of which public awareness is currently constructed almost on theoretical calculations. Here we track the atomic-scale evolution of vacancy and adatom in molybdenum disulfide through the time series of ADF imaging. For the first time, we capture their metastable states and suggest kinetic pathways for their migration which are verified by our ab-initio calculations. The experimental statistics of hoppings of Mo vacancy and Mo adatom and DFT calculations have also depicted the consistent two-dimensional potential landscape. Our systematic illustration of the evolution of defects will fundamentally deepen our knowledge of surface dynamics at atomic scale.


View: Nano Letters  17 (6), pp 3383–3390 (2017)    

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