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Few-layer MoS2 as nitrogen protective barrier
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We report experimental and theoretical investigations of the observed barrier behavior of few-layer MoS2 against nitrogenation. Owing to its low-strength shearing, low friction coefficient, and high lubricity, MoS2 exhibits the demeanor of a natural N-resistant coating material. Raman spectroscopy is done to determine the coating capability of MoS2 on graphene. Surface morphology of our MoS2/graphene heterostructure is characterized by using optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy. In addition, density functional theory-based calculations are performed to understand the energy barrier performance of MoS2 against nitrogenation. The penetration of nitrogen atoms through a defect-free MoS2 layer is prevented by a very high vertical diffusion barrier, indicating that MoS2 can serve as a protective layer for the nitrogenation of graphene. Our experimental and theoretical results show that MoS2 material can be used both as an efficient nanocoating material and as a nanoscale mask for selective nitrogenation of graphene layer.