Pressure-induced commensurate stacking of graphene on boron nitride

Matthew Yankowitz, K. Watanabe, T. Taniguchi, Pablo San-Jose, Brian J Leroy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Combining atomically-thin van der Waals materials into heterostructures provides a powerful path towards the creation of designer electronic devices. The interaction strength between neighbouring layers, most easily controlled through their interlayer separation, can have significant influence on the electronic properties of these composite materials. Here, we demonstrate unprecedented control over interlayer interactions by locally modifying the interlayer separation between graphene and boron nitride, which we achieve by applying pressure with a scanning tunnelling microscopy tip. For the special case of aligned or nearly-aligned graphene on boron nitride, the graphene lattice can stretch and compress locally to compensate for the slight lattice mismatch between the two materials. We find that modifying the interlayer separation directly tunes the lattice strain and induces commensurate stacking underneath the tip. Our results motivate future studies tailoring the electronic properties of van der Waals heterostructures by controlling the interlayer separation of the entire device using hydrostatic pressure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number13168
JournalNature Communications
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 20 2016

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Graphite
boron nitrides
interlayers
graphene
Pressure
Scanning Tunnelling Microscopy
Electronic properties
Heterojunctions
Equipment and Supplies
Hydrostatic Pressure
Lattice mismatch
electronics
Scanning tunneling microscopy
Hydrostatic pressure
hydrostatic pressure
nitrides
scanning tunneling microscopy
boron nitride
interactions
Composite materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Pressure-induced commensurate stacking of graphene on boron nitride. / Yankowitz, Matthew; Watanabe, K.; Taniguchi, T.; San-Jose, Pablo; Leroy, Brian J.

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 7, 13168, 20.10.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Yankowitz, Matthew ; Watanabe, K. ; Taniguchi, T. ; San-Jose, Pablo ; Leroy, Brian J. / Pressure-induced commensurate stacking of graphene on boron nitride. In: Nature Communications. 2016 ; Vol. 7.
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