Room Temperature Production of Nanocrystalline Molybdenum Disulfide (MoS2) at the Liquid-Liquid Interface

Eliott P. C. Higgins, Simon G. Mcadams, David G. Hopkinson, Conor Byrne, Alex S. Walton, David J. Lewis, Robert A.w. Dryfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Scalable synthesis of 2D materials is a prerequisite for their commercial exploitation. Here, a novel method of producing nanocrystalline molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) at the liquid-liquid interface is demonstrated by decomposing a molecular precursor (tetrakis(N,N-diethyldithiocarbamato) molybdenum(IV)) in an organic solvent. The decomposition occurs over a few hours at room temperature without stirring or the addition of any surfactants, producing MoS2, which can be isolated onto substrates of choice. The formation of MoS2 at the liquid-liquid interface can be accelerated by the inclusion of hydroxide ions in the aqueous phase, which we propose to act as a catalyst. The precursor concentration was varied to min-imize MoS2 thickness and the organic solvent was chosen to optimize the speed and quality of formation. The kinetics of the MoS2 formation have been investigated and a reaction mechanism has been proposed. The synthesis method is, to the best of our knowledge, the first reported room temperature synthesis of transition metal dichalcogenides, offering a potential solution to scalable 2D material production.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChemistry of Materials
Early online date18 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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