Exfoliation of natural van der Waals heterostructures to a single unit cell thickness

  • Matej Velicky (Creator)
  • Peter Toth (Creator)
  • Alexander Rakowski (Creator)
  • Aidan Rooney (Creator)
  • Aleksey Kozikov (Creator)
  • Colin Woods (Creator)
  • Artem Mischenko (Creator)
  • Laura Fumagalli (Creator)
  • Jun Yin (Creator)
  • Viktor Zolyomi (Creator)
  • Thanasis Georgiou (Creator)
  • Sarah Haigh (Creator)
  • Robert Dryfe (Contributor)
  • Konstantin Novoselov (Contributor)



    Content type: Research data
    Research data type: Experimental data
    Language: eng

    Abstract: Original files from article, abstract: Weak interlayer interactions in van der Waals crystals facilitate their mechanical exfoliation to monolayer and few-layer two-dimensional materials, which often exhibit striking physical phenomena absent in their bulk form. Here we utilize mechanical exfoliation to produce a two-dimensional form of a mineral franckeite and show that the phase segregation of chemical species into discrete layers at the sub-nanometre scale facilitates franckeite’s layered structure and basal cleavage down to a single unit cell thickness. This behaviour is likely to be common in a wider family of complex minerals and could be exploited for a singlestep synthesis of van der Waals heterostructures, as an alternative to artificial stacking of individual two-dimensional crystals. We demonstrate p-type electrical conductivity and remarkable electrochemical properties of the exfoliated crystals, showing promise for a range of applications, and use the density functional theory calculations of franckeite’s electronic band structure to rationalize the experimental results.
    Date made available6 Jan 2017
    PublisherUniversity of Manchester

    Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

    • National Graphene Institute


    • 2d materials, layered minerals
    • exfoliation

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