Thin films of Au ranging from 7-24 nm were grown on MoS2 at room temperature using thermal evaporation and studied using scanning tunneling microscopy and ballistic electron emission spectroscopy. Topographic images show the surface morphology of Au transitions from terraced triangles to a mix of terraced hexagonal and irregular-shaped structures as film thickness exceeded 16 nm. Raman spectra reveal the presence of tensile strain in the MoS2 with thicker Au films and is likely the driving force behind this transition. All samples exhibit a Schottky barrier significantly lower than that predicted by the Schottky-Mott model due to Fermi-level pinning at the interface. The pinning mechanism is thought to be caused, in part, by the presence of gap states induced by a weakening of the interlayer Mo-S bonding in the presence of the Au film. Although relatively consistent in thinner films, the Schottky barrier increases concurrently with structural changes on the surface. At the same time, transmission through the interface begins to drop at an increased exponential rate with film thickness. These observations are consistent with a widening separation between the Au and MoS2 that would reduce the number of gap states and cause transmission through the interface to be more characteristic of quantum tunneling. An increased separation such as this could result from changes in equilibrium conditions at the interface with increasing strain.
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|State||Published - Nov 6 2015|