Optical imaging of charges with atomically thin molybdenum disulfide

Hao Zhu, Fenni Zhang, Hui Wang, Zhixing Lu, Hong Yuan Chen, Jinghong Li, Nongjian Tao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Mapping local surface charge distribution is critical to the understanding of various surface processes and also allows the detection of molecules binding to the surface. We show here that the optical absorption of monolayer MoS2 is highly sensitive to charge and demonstrate optical imaging of local surface charge distribution with this atomically thin material. We validate the imaging principle and perform charge sensitivity calibration with an electrochemical gate. We further show that binding of charged molecules to the atomically thin material leads to a large change in the image contrast, allowing determination of the charge of the adsorbed molecules. This capability opens possibilities for characterizing impurities and defects in two-dimensional materials and for label-free optical detection and charge analysis of molecules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2298-2306
Number of pages9
JournalACS nano
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 26 2019


  • Charge impurities
  • Electrochemical gate
  • Local charge imaging
  • Monolayer molybdenum disulfide
  • Protein binding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Optical imaging of charges with atomically thin molybdenum disulfide'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this