Tungsten disulphide (WS2) and molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), which belong to the family of transition metal dichalcogenides, are well known for their solid lubricating behavior. Thin films of MoS2 and WS2 exhibit extremely low coefficient of friction (COF ∼0.02 to 0.05) in dry environments, and are typically applied by sputter deposition, pulsed laser ablation, evaporation or chemical vapor deposition, which are essentially either line-of-sight or high temperature processes. With these techniques it is difficult to coat surfaces shadowed from the target, or uniformly coat sidewalls of three-dimensional or high aspect ratio structures. For applications such as micromechanical (MEMS) devices, where dimensions and separation tolerances are small, and aspect ratios are large, these traditional deposition techniques are inadequate. Atomic layer deposition (ALD) is a chemical vapor deposition technique that could overcome many of these problems by using sequential introduction of gaseous precursors and selective surface chemistry to achieve controlled growth at lower temperatures, but the chemistry needed to grow transition metal dichalcogenide films by ALD is not known.

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