Innovation Sphere



Project TitleLarge Area Growth Method for Atomic Layers of MoS2
Track Code2013-007
Short Description
Tagssemiconductor, MOS2, direct bandgap, Nanoelectronics, atomic layer, 2d, cvd
Posted DateMay 27, 2016 9:47 AM


Novel materials are needed for the two dimensional (2D) electronics devices of the future. Graphene has been one material that has garnered much attention due to its advantageous properties. However, graphene is conductive and does not exhibit a bandgap, which can complicate its integration in various devices and require doping or other processing to obtain semiconductor properties. An alternative material is molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), a semiconductor with a direct bandgap and the potential to enable high-performance devices with low power consumption. Traditional methods to produce this material include mechanical and chemical exfoliation and hydrothermal methods, but these are unsuitable for producing large areas of pristine 2D layers that are compatible with micro- and nanofabrication processes.


A new chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process has been discovered for the growth of MoS2 atomic layers in large areas on insulating substrates. Photolithographic patterning of the substrate enables large area growth and the geometry and spacing of those patterns control the process. Varying the source concentration can lead to unique geometric features of isolated MoS2 flakes. The patterned films can be transferred to new substrates via standard polymer assisted methods or directly utilized for device preparation.    

Benefits and Features

  • Scalable and economical CVD method for producing large areas of MoS2
  • Geometric shape and thickness of the MoS2 layers can be readily controlled via the surface patterning and process parameters
  • As-prepared samples can be utilized for device fabrication or the layers can be transferred to other substrates

Market Potential / Applications

MoS2 is a layered semiconductor and its atomic layers have been investigated for use in future optical, sensing, and semiconductor applications such as high on/off ratio field effect transistors, low power devices, high efficiency catalysts, and transparent coatings.

Development and Licensing Status

Patent pending; available for licensing from Rice University. Tested at the laboratory scale.

Rice Researcher

Pulickel Ajayan is the Benjamin M. and Mary Greenwood Anderson Professor in Engineering at Rice University.

Technology Relevant Papers and Web Links

Y. J. Zhan, Z. Liu, S. Najmaei, P. M. Ajayan, J. Lou, “Large-Area Vapor-Phase Growth and Characterization of MoS2 Atomic Layers on a SiO2 Substrate”; Small 8, 966-971 (2012);

Case #


Inquiries to:

Andy Gapin,, (713) 348-6272