University of Manchester Manchester United Kingdom
All applications are limited by the properties of the materials that are available to us. Here we propose a new paradigm in material science super structures made by 2-dimensional 2D crystals. Single-layer crystals such as graphene, monolayers of boron nitride, molybdenum disulphide, etc have a number of exciting properties, often unique and very different from those of their bulk counterparts. However, it is the combinations of those crystals to form 2D heterostructures that promise really endless possibilities. One can create such Van deer Waals VdW heterostructures by placing individual 2D crystals one on top of another. This way, 2D materials with very different properties can be combined into one 3D structure, thus producing novel, multifunctional materials we can combine conductivity of one 2D crystal, mechanical strength of another, chemical reactivity of the third, while the optical properties would be given by the whole superstructure. By carefully choosing and arranging the individual layers in the stack one can tune the parameters of the hetero structure, creating materials with tailored properties, or materials on demand. In this project several type of hetero structures have been created, either to study fundamental properties of graphene and other 2D materials or to fabricate functional devices.