Intralayer and interlayer electron-phonon interactions in twisted graphene heterostructures.
ABSTRACT: The understanding of interactions between electrons and phonons in atomically thin heterostructures is crucial for the engineering of novel two-dimensional devices. Electron-phonon (el-ph) interactions in layered materials can occur involving electrons in the same layer or in different layers. Here we report on the possibility of distinguishing intralayer and interlayer el-ph interactions in samples of twisted bilayer graphene and of probing the intralayer process in graphene/h-BN by using Raman spectroscopy. In the intralayer process, the el-ph scattering occurs in a single graphene layer and the other layer (graphene or h-BN) imposes a periodic potential that backscatters the excited electron, whereas for the interlayer process the el-ph scattering occurs between states in the Dirac cones of adjacent graphene layers. Our methodology of using Raman spectroscopy to probe different types of el-ph interactions can be extended to study any kind of graphene-based heterostructure.
Project description:2D layered materials have recently attracted tremendous interest due to their fascinating properties and potential applications. The interlayer interactions are much weaker than the intralayer bonds, allowing the as-synthesized materials to exhibit different stacking sequences, leading to different physical properties. Here, we show that regardless of the space group of the 2D materials, the Raman frequencies of the interlayer shear modes observed under the typical z(xx)z configuration blue shift for AB stacked materials, and red shift for ABC stacked materials, as the number of layers increases. Our predictions are made using an intuitive bond polarizability model which shows that stacking sequence plays a key role in determining which interlayer shear modes lead to the largest change in polarizability (Raman intensity); the modes with the largest Raman intensity determining the frequency trends. We present direct evidence for these conclusions by studying the Raman modes in few layer graphene, MoS2, MoSe2, WSe2 and Bi2Se3, using both first principles calculations and Raman spectroscopy. This study sheds light on the influence of stacking sequence on the Raman intensities of intrinsic interlayer modes in 2D layered materials in general, and leads to a practical way of identifying the stacking sequence in these materials.
Project description:Atomically thin boron nitride (BN) nanosheets are important two-dimensional nanomaterials with many unique properties distinct from those of graphene, but investigation into their mechanical properties remains incomplete. Here we report that high-quality single-crystalline mono- and few-layer BN nanosheets are one of the strongest electrically insulating materials. More intriguingly, few-layer BN shows mechanical behaviours quite different from those of few-layer graphene under indentation. In striking contrast to graphene, whose strength decreases by more than 30% when the number of layers increases from 1 to 8, the mechanical strength of BN nanosheets is not sensitive to increasing thickness. We attribute this difference to the distinct interlayer interactions and hence sliding tendencies in these two materials under indentation. The significantly better interlayer integrity of BN nanosheets makes them a more attractive candidate than graphene for several applications, for example, as mechanical reinforcements.
Project description:As the thinnest conductive and elastic material, graphene is expected to play a crucial role in post-Moore era. Besides applications on electronic devices, graphene has shown great potential for nano-electromechanical systems. While interlayer interactions play a key role in modifying the electronic structures of layered materials, no attention has been given to their impact on electromechanical properties. Here we report the positive piezoconductive effect observed in suspended bi- and multi-layer graphene. The effect is highly layer number dependent and shows the most pronounced response for tri-layer graphene. The effect, and its dependence on the layer number, can be understood as resulting from the strain-induced competition between interlayer coupling and intralayer transport, as confirmed by the numerical calculations based on the non-equilibrium Green's function method. Our results enrich the understanding of graphene and point to layer number as a powerful tool for tuning the electromechanical properties of graphene for future applications.
Project description:In van der Waals bonded or rotationally disordered multilayer stacks of two-dimensional (2D) materials, the electronic states remain tightly confined within individual 2D layers. As a result, electron-phonon interactions occur primarily within layers and interlayer electrical conductivities are low. In addition, strong covalent in-plane intralayer bonding combined with weak van der Waals interlayer bonding results in weak phonon-mediated thermal coupling between the layers. We demonstrate here, however, that Coulomb interactions between electrons in different layers of multilayer epitaxial graphene provide an important mechanism for interlayer thermal transport, even though all electronic states are strongly confined within individual 2D layers. This effect is manifested in the relaxation dynamics of hot carriers in ultrafast time-resolved terahertz spectroscopy. We develop a theory of interlayer Coulomb coupling containing no free parameters that accounts for the experimentally observed trends in hot-carrier dynamics as temperature and the number of layers is varied.
Project description:We investigated interlayer phonon modes of mechanically exfoliated few-layer 2H-SnS2 samples by using room temperature low-frequency micro-Raman spectroscopy. Raman measurements were performed using laser wavelengths of 441.6, 514.4, 532 and 632.8?nm with power below 100??W and inside a vacuum chamber to avoid photo-oxidation. The intralayer Eg and A1g modes are observed at ~206?cm-1 and 314?cm-1, respectively, but the Eg mode is much weaker for all excitation energies. The A1g mode exhibits strong resonant enhancement for the 532?nm (2.33?eV) laser. In the low-frequency region, interlayer vibrational modes of shear and breathing modes are observed. These modes show characteristic dependence on the number of layers. The strengths of the interlayer interactions are estimated by fitting the interlayer mode frequencies using the linear chain model and are found to be 1.64?×?1019?N?·?m-3 and 5.03?×?1019?N?·?m-3 for the shear and breathing modes, respectively.
Project description:Layered materials such as graphite and transition metal dichalcogenides have extremely anisotropic mechanical properties owing to orders of magnitude difference between in-plane and out-of-plane interatomic interaction strengths. Although effects of mechanical perturbations on either intralayer or interlayer interactions have been extensively investigated, mutual correlations between them have rarely been addressed. Here, we show that layered materials have an inevitable coupling between in-plane uniaxial strain and interlayer shear. Because of this, the uniaxial in-plane strain induces an anomalous splitting of the degenerate interlayer shear phonon modes such that the split shear mode along the tensile strain is not softened but hardened contrary to the case of intralayer phonon modes. We confirm the effect by measuring Raman shifts of shear modes of bilayer MoS2 under strain. Moreover, by analyzing the splitting, we obtain an unexplored off-diagonal elastic constant, demonstrating that Raman spectroscopy can determine almost all mechanical constants of layered materials.
Project description:Here, we investigate the use of few-layer metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) grown BN as a two-dimensional buffer layer for plasma enhanced atomic layer deposition (PE-ALD) of Al2O3 on graphene for top gated field effect transistors (FETs). The reactive nature of PE-ALD enables deposition of thin (2 nm) dielectrics directly on graphene and other two-dimensional materials without the need for a seed or functionalization layer; however, this also leads to significant oxidation of the graphene layer as observed by Raman. In FETs, we find this oxidation destroys conductivity in the graphene channel. By transferring thin (1.6 nm) MOCVD BN layers on top of graphene channels prior to PE-ALD, the graphene is protected from oxidation enabling BN/Al2O3 layers as thin as 4 nm. Raman and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy on BN films show no significant oxidation caused by PE-ALD of Al2O3. Inserting the BN layer creates an atomically abrupt interface significantly reducing interface charges between the graphene and Al2O3 as compared to use of a 2 nm Al buffer layer. This results in a much smaller Dirac voltage (-?1 V) and hysteresis (0.9 V) when compared to FETs with the Al layer (VDirac?=?-?6.1 V and hysteresis?=?2.9 V).
Project description:Raman spectroscopy is the most commonly used method to investigate structures of materials. Recently, few-layered IV-VI 2D materials (SnS, SnSe, GeS, and GeSe) have been found and ignited significant interest in electronic and optical applications. However, unlike few-layer graphene, in which its interlayer structures such as the number of its layers are confirmed through measurement of the Raman scattering, few-layer IV-VI 2D materials have not yet been developed to the point of understanding their interlayer structure. Here we performed first-principles calculations on Raman spectroscopy for few-layer IV-VI 2D materials. In addition to achieving consistent results with measurements of bulk structures, we revealed significant red and blue shifts of characteristic Raman modes up to 100?cm<sup>-1</sup> associated with the layer number. These shifts of lattice vibrational modes originate from the change of the bond lengths between the metal atoms and chalcogen atoms through the change of the interlayer interactions. Particularly, our study shows weak covalent bonding between interlayers, making the evolution of Raman signals according to the thickness different from other vdW materials. Our results suggest a new way for obtaining information of layer structure of few-layer IV-VI 2D materials through Raman spectroscopy.
Project description:Twisted bi-layer graphene (tBLG) has attracted much attention because of its unique band structure and properties. The properties of tBLG vary with small differences in the interlayer twist angle, but it is difficult to accurately adjust the interlayer twist angle of tBLG with the conventional fabrication method. In this study, we introduce a facile tBLG fabrication method that directly picks up a single-crystalline graphene layer from a growth substrate and places it on another graphene layer with a pre-designed twist angle. Using this approach, we stacked single-crystalline graphene layers with controlled twist angles and thus fabricated tBLG and twisted multi-layer graphene (tMLG). The structural, optical and electrical properties depending on the twist angle and number of layers, were investigated using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), micro-Raman spectroscopy, and gate-dependent sheet resistance measurements. The obtained results show that the pick and place approach enables the direct dry transfer of the top graphene layer on the as-grown graphene to fabricate uniform tBLG and tMLG with minimal interlayer contamination and pre-defined twist angles.
Project description:Van der Waals heterostructures combining hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) and graphene offer many potential advantages, but remain difficult to produce as continuous films over large areas. In particular, the growth of h-BN on graphene has proven to be challenging due to the inertness of the graphene surface. Here we exploit a scalable molecular beam epitaxy based method to allow both the h-BN and graphene to form in a stacked heterostructure in the favorable growth environment provided by a Ni(111) substrate. This involves first saturating a Ni film on MgO(111) with C, growing h-BN on the exposed metal surface, and precipitating the C back to the h-BN/Ni interface to form graphene. The resulting laterally continuous heterostructure is composed of a top layer of few-layer thick h-BN on an intermediate few-layer thick graphene, lying on top of Ni/MgO(111). Examinations by synchrotron-based grazing incidence diffraction, X-ray photoemission spectroscopy, and UV-Raman spectroscopy reveal that while the h-BN is relaxed, the lattice constant of graphene is significantly reduced, likely due to nitrogen doping. These results illustrate a different pathway for the production of h-BN/graphene heterostructures, and open a new perspective for the large-area preparation of heterosystems combining graphene and other 2D or 3D materials.