Spontaneous self-intercalation of copper atoms into transition metal dichalcogenides

Xiao Chen Liu, Shuyang Zhao, Xueping Sun, Liangzi Deng, Xiaolong Zou, Youcheng Hu, Yun Xiao Wang, Ching Wu Chu, Jia Li, Jingjie Wu, Fu Sheng Ke, Pulickel M. Ajayan

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63 Citations (Scopus)


Intercalated transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) have attracted substantial interest due to their exciting electronic properties. Here, we report a unique approach where copper (Cu) atoms from bulk Cu solid intercalate spontaneously into van der Waals (vdW) gaps of group IV and V layered TMDs at room temperature and atmospheric pressure. This distinctive phenomenon is used to develop a strategy to synthesize Cu species–intercalated layered TMD compounds. A series of Cu-intercalated 2H-NbS2 compounds were obtained with homogeneous distribution of Cu intercalates in the form of monovalent Cu (I), occupying the tetrahedral sites coordinated by S atoms within the interlayer space of NbS2. The Fermi level of NbS2 shifts up because of the intercalation of Cu, resulting in the improvement of electrical conductivity in the z-direction. On the other hand, intercalation of Cu into vdW gaps of NbS2 systematically suppresses the superconducting transition temperature (Tc) and superconducting volume fraction.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereaay4092
JournalScience Advances
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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