Emission Control from Transition Metal Dichalcogenide Monolayers by Aggregation-Induced Molecular Rotors

Mike Tebyetekerwa, Yanhua Cheng, Jian Zhang, Weili Li, Hongkun Li, Guru Neupane, Bowen Wang, Thien Truong, Chuanxiao Xiao, Mowafak Al-Jassim, Zongyou Yin, Yuerui Lu, Daniel Macdonald, Hieu Nguyen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus Citations


Organic-inorganic (O-I) heterostructures, consisting of atomically thin inorganic semiconductors and organic molecules, present synergistic and enhanced optoelectronic properties with a high tunability. Here, we develop a class of air-stable vertical O-I heterostructures comprising a monolayer of transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), including WS2, WSe2, and MoSe2, on top of tetraphenylethylene (TPE) core-based aggregation-induced emission (AIE) molecular rotors. The created O-I heterostructures yields a photoluminescence (PL) enhancement of up to ∼950%, ∼500%, and ∼330% in the top monolayer WS2, MoSe2, and WSe2 as compared to PL in their pristine monolayers, respectively. The strong PL enhancement is mainly attributed to the efficient photogenerated carrier process in the AIE luminogens (courtesy of their restricted intermolecular motions in the solid state) and the charge-transfer process in the created type I O-I heterostructures. Moreover, we observe an improvement in photovoltaic properties of the TMDs in the heterostructures including the quasi-Fermi level splitting, minority carrier lifetime, and light absorption. This work presents an inspiring example of combining stable, highly luminescent AIE-based molecules, with rich photochemistry and versatile applications, with atomically thin inorganic semiconductors for multifunctional and efficient optoelectronic devices.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)7444-7453
Number of pages10
JournalACS Nano
Issue number6
StatePublished - 23 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Chemical Society.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-75540


  • aggregation-induced emission (AIE)
  • molecular rotors
  • monolayer semiconductors
  • organic-inorganic heterostructures
  • photoluminescence pumping
  • transition metal dichalcogenides


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