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Van der Waals heterostructures

Abstract

Research on graphene and other two-dimensional atomic crystals is intense and is likely to remain one of the leading topics in condensed matter physics and materials science for many years. Looking beyond this field, isolated atomic planes can also be reassembled into designer heterostructures made layer by layer in a precisely chosen sequence. The first, already remarkably complex, such heterostructures (often referred to as ‘van der Waals’) have recently been fabricated and investigated, revealing unusual properties and new phenomena. Here we review this emerging research area and identify possible future directions. With steady improvement in fabrication techniques and using graphene’s springboard, van der Waals heterostructures should develop into a large field of their own.

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Figure 1: Building van der Waals heterostructures.
Figure 2: Current 2D library.
Figure 3: State-of-the-art van der Waals structures and devices.
Figure 4: Early harvest in van der Waals fields.

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Acknowledgements

We thank all participants of the Friday Graphene Seminar in Manchester for discussions, and R. Gorbachev and J. Chapman for help with the figures. This work was supported by the Royal Society, the European Research Council, the Körber Foundation, the Office of Naval Research and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

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A.K.G. wrote a draft that was scrutinized and improved by both authors.

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Correspondence to I. V. Grigorieva.

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Geim, A., Grigorieva, I. Van der Waals heterostructures. Nature 499, 419–425 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature12385

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