Lain-Jong Li

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

Lain-Jong Li

Growing New Types of 2D Transition Metal Dichalcogenide Monolayers


Lain-Jong (Lance) Li

Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

Physical Sciences and Engineering Division, King Abdullah

University of Science and Technology, Thuwal, 23955-6900,

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Our recent demonstration in vapor phase growth of TMD monolayers such as MoS2 and WSe2 has stimulated the research in growth and applications. These 2D monolayer building blocks can be used to form p-n junctions. For example, the heterostructures of 2D materials formed by vertical stacking have been realized recently via transfer of their exfoliated flakes, where their properties are dominated by the stacking orientation and strength of interlayer coupling. Another very attractive structure is the lateral heterostructure, where the atomically sharp p-n junction exhibits diode properties and a large strain exhibits at the junction region which offers tunability in electronic structures. The direct growth of such lateral heterostructures has been developed.

 In addition to the symmetry 2D materials, we have also developed a method that can precisely manipulate arrangement of chalcogenide atoms (S and Se) along the vertical direction of TMD by applying plasma thinning along with selenization (or sulfurization). This new strategy is not only to control the composition of upmost chalcogenide layer but also able to fabricate MoSSe Janus structure with 1:1 Se to S ratio, a material never exists in nature. In this Janus structure, the transition metals are sandwiched by selenium at upmost and sulfur at bottom. Such a Janus 2D monolayer exhibits piezoelectric responses and optical dipole along out-of-plane direction. The breakthrough here opens a new area in 2D materials research.

Lain-Jong Li



Division of Physical Sciences and Engineering,

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

Thuwal 23955-6900, Saudi Arabia



He has published more than 240 SCI journal articles.

Overall citation >14800 and h-index:60



l   2006  Ph.D. in Condensed Matter Physics:   Oxford University,

l   1996  MSc in Chemistry:   National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, 1994-1996  

l   1994  B.S. in Department of Chemistry


Academic Careers

2016-       Full Professor, Materials Science and Engineering, KAUST

2014-2016   Associate Professor, Materials Science and Engineering, KAUST

2014-2014   Research Fellow, Institute of Atomic and Molecular Sci, Academia Sinica Taiwan

2012-2014   Associate Research Fellow, Inst. of Atomic and Molecular Sci, Academia Sinica Taiwan

2010-2012   Associate Research Fellow, Center for Applied Sciences, Academia Sinica Taiwan

2006-2010   Assistant Professor, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Nanyang 

                     Technological University Singapore

1997-2002   RD Engineer, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC)


Awards and Recognition

l   2013: Wu Ta Yu Awards (NSC, Taiwan)

l   2013: Asian Rising Star (15th Asian Chemical Congress, Singapore)

l   2013: Academia Sinica Research Awards (Taiwan)

l   2011: Humboldt Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers (Germany)

l   2010: Career Development Award (Academia Sinica, Taiwan)


Representative Publications

1.      Epitaxial growth of a monolayer WSe2-MoS2 lateral p-n junction with an atomically sharp interface M.-Y. Li, Yumeng Shi, C.-C. Cheng, L.-S. Lu, Y.-C. Lin, H.-L. Tang, M.-L. Tsai, C.-W. Chu, K.-H. Wei, J.-H. He, W.-H. Chang, K. Suenaga, L.-J. Li*   Science  349, 524 (2015)

2.      Graphene-modified LiFePO4 cathode for lithium ion battery beyond theoretical capacity

L.-H. Hu, F.-Y. Wu, C.-T. Lin, A. N. Khlobystov, and L.-J. Li* Nature Comm. 4, 1687-(2013).

3.  Determination of band alignment in the single layer MoS2/WSe2 heterojunction       

     M-H Chiu, C. Zhang, H.-W. Shiu, C.-P. Chuu, C.-H. Chen, C.-Y. Chang, C.-H. Chen, M.-Y.

     Chou, C.-K. Shih  and L.-J. Li    Nature Comm. 6, 7666 (2015)