The emergence of two-dimensional (2D) materials has captured the imagination of researchers since graphene was first exfoliated from graphite in 2004. Their exotic properties give rise to many exciting potential applications in advanced electronic, optoelectronic, energy and biomedical technologies. Scalable growth of high quality 2D materials is crucial for their adoption in technological applications the same way the arrival of high quality silicon single crystals was to the semiconductor industry. A huge amount of effort has been devoted to grow large-area, highly crystalline 2D crystals such as graphene and transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) through various methods. While CVD growth of wafer-scale monolayer graphene and TMDs has been demonstrated, considerable challenges still remain. In this perspective, we advocate for the focus on the crystal growth morphology as an underpinning for understanding, diagnosing and controlling the CVD process and environment for 2D material growth. Like snowflakes in nature, 2D crystals exhibit a rich variety of morphologies under different growth conditions. The mapping of crystal shapes in the growth parameter space “encodes” a wealth of information, the deciphering of which will lead to better understanding of the fundamental growth mechanism and materials properties. To this end, we envision a collective effort by the 2D materials community to establish the correlation between crystal shapes and the intrinsic thermodynamic and kinetic parameters for CVD reactions through integrated crystal growth experiment, database development and machine learning assisted predictive modeling, which will pave a robust path towards controlled synthesis of 2D materials and heterostructures.

Towards controlled synthesis of 2D crystals by chemical vapor deposition (CVD)


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DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2020.06.012