• Geliang Yu

Student thesis: Phd


In the past few years, led by graphene, a large variety of two dimensional (2D) materials have been discovered to exhibit astonishing properties. By assembling 2D materials with different designs, we are able to construct novel artificial van der Waals (vdW) heterostructures to explore new fundamental physics and potential applications for future technology.This thesis describes several novel vdW heterostructures and their fundamental properties. At the beginning, the basic properties of some 2D materials and assembled vdW heterostructures are introduced, together with the fabrication procedure and transport measurement setups. Then the graphene based capacitors on hBN (hexagonal Boron Nitride) substrate are studied, where quantum capacitance measurements are applied to determine the density of states and many body effects. Meanwhile, quantum capacitance measurement is also used to search for alternative substrates to hBN which allow graphene to exhibit micrometer-scale ballistic transport. We found that graphene placed on top of MoS2 and TaS2 show comparable mobilities up to 60,000cm2/Vs. After that, the graphene/hBN superlattices are studied. With a Hall bar structure based on the superlattices, we find that new Dirac minibands appear away from the main Dirac cone with pronounced peaks in the resistivity and are accompanied by reversal of the Hall effects. With the capacitive structure based on the superlattices, quantum capacitance measurement is used to directly probe the density states in the graphene/hBN superlattices, and we observe a clear replica spectrum, the Hofstadter-butterfly fan diagram, together with the suppression of quantum Hall Ferromagnetism. In the final part, we report on the existence of the valley current in the graphene/hBN superlattice structure. The topological current originating from graphene's two valleys flows in opposite directions due to the broken inversion symmetry in the graphene/hBN superlattice, meaning an open band gap in graphene.
Date of Award31 Dec 2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorKonstantin Novoselov (Supervisor)


  • Energy gap
  • Valley Hall Effect
  • Density of States
  • Superlattices
  • Boron Nitride
  • Graphene
  • Quantum capacitance

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