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Formation of Tungsten Oxide Nanowires by Electron-Beam-Enhanced Oxidation of WS2 Nanotubes and Platelets

Miroslav Kolíbal; Kristýna Bukvišová; Lukáš Kachtík; Alla Zak; Libor Novák; Tomáš Šikola

Oxidation of van der Waals-bonded layered semiconductors plays a key role in deterioration of their superior optical and electronic properties. The oxidation mechanism of these materials is, however, different from non-layered semiconductors in many aspects. Here, we show a rather unusual oxidation of tungsten disulfide (WS2) nanotubes and platelets in a high vacuum chamber at a presence of water vapor and at elevated temperatures. The process results in formation of small tungsten oxide nanowires on the surface of WS2. Utilizing real-time scanning electron microscopy we are able to unravel the oxidation mechanism, which proceeds via reduction of initially formed WO3 phase into W18O49 nanowires. Moreover, we show that the oxidation reaction can be localized and enhanced by an electron beam irradiation, which allows for on-demand growth of tungsten oxide nanowires.

This research has been financially supported by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic (16-16423Y), Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic under the projects CEITEC 2020 (LQ1601) and Ceitec Nano+ (CZ.02.01/0.0./.0.0./16_013/0001728 under the program OPVVV) and Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under the Grant Agreement No 810626. K.B. was supported by Thermo Fisher Scientific student scholarship. Part of the work was carried out with the support of CEITEC Nano Research Infrastructure (ID LM2015041, MEYS CR, 2016–2019). A.Z. acknowledges the Israel Science Foundation (ISF) for the financial support of this research.
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