Analysis of electron beam damage of exfoliated MoS₂ sheets and quantitative HAADF-STEM imaging

Ultramicroscopy. 2014 Nov;146:33-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ultramic.2014.05.004. Epub 2014 Jun 2.


In this work we examined MoS₂ sheets by aberration-corrected scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) at three different energies: 80, 120 and 200 kV. Structural damage of the MoS₂ sheets has been controlled at 80 kV according a theoretical calculation based on the inelastic scattering of the electrons involved in the interaction electron-matter. The threshold energy for the MoS₂ material has been found and experimentally verified in the microscope. At energies higher than the energy threshold we show surface and edge defects produced by the electron beam irradiation. Quantitative analysis at atomic level in the images obtained at 80 kV has been performed using the experimental images and via STEM simulations using SICSTEM software to determine the exact number of MoS2₂ layers.

Keywords: Aberration-corrected microscopy; Low-voltage transmission electron microscopy; Molybdenum disulfide; Radiation damage.