Nano Research

, Volume 11, Issue 9, pp 4914–4922 | Cite as

Electron doping induced semiconductor to metal transitions in ZrSe2 layers via copper atomic intercalation

  • Zahir Muhammad
  • Kejun Mu
  • Haifeng Lv
  • Chuanqiang Wu
  • Zia ur Rehman
  • Muhammad Habib
  • Zhe Sun
  • Xiaojun Wu
  • Li Song
Research Article


Atomic intercalation in two-dimensional (2D) layered materials can be used to engineer the electronic structure at the atomic scale and generate tuneable physical and chemical properties which are quite distinct in comparison with the pristine material. Among them, electron-doped engineering induced by intercalation is an efficient route to modulate electronic states in 2D layers. Herein, we demonstrate a semiconducting to metallic phase transition in zirconium diselenide (ZrSe2) single crystals via controllable incorporation of copper (Cu) atoms. Our angle resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES) measurements and first-principles density functional theory (DFT) calculations clearly revealed the emergence of conduction band dispersion at the M/L point of the Brillouin zone due to Cu-induced electron doping in ZrSe2 interlayers. Moreover, electrical measurements in ZrSe2 revealed semiconducting behavior, while the Cu-intercalated ZrSe2 exhibited a linear current–voltage curve with metallic character. The atomic intercalation approach may have high potential for realizing transparent electron-doping systems for many specific 2D-based nanoelectronic applications.


layered materials phase transition angle resolved photoemission spectroscopy electron doping 


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The authors acknowledge the financial support from the MOST (Nos. 2017YFA0303500, 2017YFA0402901, 2016YFA0200602, 2014CB848900, and 2014CB921102), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. U1532112, U1532136, 11574280, and 11190022), CAS Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences (No. QYZDB-SSW-SLH018) and CAS Interdisciplinary Innovation Team. Z. M. acknowledges the CSC (Chinese Scholarship Council) Program. L. S. acknowledges the support from Key Laboratory of Advanced Energy Materials Chemistry (Ministry of Education), Nankai University (111 project, B12015), and Key Laboratory of the Ministry of Education for Advanced Catalysis Materials and Zhejiang Key Laboratory for Reactive Chemistry on Solid Surfaces (Zhejiang Normal University). We thanks the Hefei Synchrotron Radiation Facility (Angle Resolved Photoemission Spectroscopy, MCD and Photoemission Endstations, NSRL), and the USTC Center for Micro and Nanoscale Research and Fabrication for helps in characterizations.

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Electron doping induced semiconductor to metal transitions in ZrSe2 layers via copper atomic intercalation


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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zahir Muhammad
    • 1
  • Kejun Mu
    • 1
  • Haifeng Lv
    • 2
  • Chuanqiang Wu
    • 1
  • Zia ur Rehman
    • 1
  • Muhammad Habib
    • 1
  • Zhe Sun
    • 1
  • Xiaojun Wu
    • 2
  • Li Song
    • 1
  1. 1.National Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, CAS Center for Excellence in Nanoscience, CAS Key Laboratory of Strongly-coupled Quantum Matter PhysicsUniversity of Science and Technology of ChinaHefeiChina
  2. 2.CAS Key Laboratory of Materials for Energy Conservation, Synergetic Innovation Centre of Quantum Information & Quantum Physics, CAS Center for Excellence in Nanoscience, and Department of Material Science and EngineeringUniversity of Science and Technology of ChinaHefeiChina

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