Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Physics (MS)

Degree Level





Hugh O. H. Churchill

Committee Member

Woodrow Shew

Second Committee Member

Julio R. Gea-Banacloche


Group IV monochalcogenides, Oxidation


Previously published works have simulated the behavior of monolayer group IV monochalcogenides and predicted them to have very useful electronic properties. These simulations have also predicted that monolayers of group IV monochalcogenides will degrade quickly when exposed to water, even in extremely low concentrations. We hypothesize that thin samples of these materials will show signs of degradation if left in air and in water for an extended period of time.

Samples of each of the four monochalcogenides (GeS, GeSe, SnS and SnSe) were exfoliated onto clean oxidized silicon substrates. Chemical analysis showed the SnSe samples were contaminated, so they were excluded from the remainder of the study. The remaining materials were examined optically, topographically, and chemically before and after a 12 hour exposure to water and air. Optical measurements were made with a microscope, chemical characterization was performed with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and topography was determined with an atomic force microscope. The three measured materials showed no major signs of change after exposure to air or water. While not conclusive, this result has positive implications for the stability of these materials.