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In-plane heterostructures of graphene and hexagonal boron nitride with controlled domain sizes

Nature Nanotechnology volume 8, pages 119124 (2013) | Download Citation

Abstract

Graphene and hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) have similar crystal structures with a lattice constant difference of only 2%. However, graphene is a zero-bandgap semiconductor with remarkably high carrier mobility at room temperature1,2,3, whereas an atomically thin layer of h-BN4,5,6,7,8,9 is a dielectric with a wide bandgap of 5.9 eV. Accordingly, if precise two-dimensional domains of graphene and h-BN can be seamlessly stitched together, hybrid atomic layers with interesting electronic applications could be created10. Here, we show that planar graphene/h-BN heterostructures can be formed by growing graphene in lithographically patterned h-BN atomic layers. Our approach can create periodic arrangements of domains with size ranging from tens of nanometres to millimetres. The resulting graphene/h-BN atomic layers can be peeled off the growth substrate and transferred to various platforms including flexible substrates. We also show that the technique can be used to fabricate two-dimensional devices, such as a split closed-loop resonator that works as a bandpass filter.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the US Army Research Office (MURI grant W911NF-11-1-0362), the US Office of Naval Research (MURI grant N000014-09-1-1066), the Nanoelectronics Research Corporation (contract S201006), US–Japan Cooperative Research & Education in Terahertz (grant OISE-0968405), the Welch Foundation (grant C-1716), the National Science Foundation (NSF, grant DMR-0928297, NSF grant DMR-0938330 to W.Z.), and Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Shared Research Equipment (ShaRE) User Program (J.C.I.), which is sponsored by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences, US Department of Energy. The authors would like to thank G. You for help with sample preparation and AFM measurements.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77005, USA

    • Zheng Liu
    • , Lulu Ma
    • , Gang Shi
    • , Yongji Gong
    • , Sidong Lei
    • , Jiangnan Zhang
    • , Ken P. Hackenberg
    • , Robert Vajtai
    • , Jun Lou
    •  & Pulickel M. Ajayan
  2. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37235, USA

    • Wu Zhou
  3. Materials Science and Technology Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831, USA

    • Wu Zhou
    •  & Juan-Carlos Idrobo
  4. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77005, USA

    • Xuebei Yang
    •  & Aydin Babakhani
  5. Nanotechnology Measurements Division, Agilent Technologies, 4330. W. Chandler Boulevard, Chandler, Arizona 85226, USA

    • Jingjiang Yu

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Contributions

Z.L. designed and carried out most of the experiments (SEM, TEM, Raman, XPS) and analysed the data. L.M. worked on the CVD growth of graphene. Y.G. and K.P.H. conducted the CVD growth of h-BN. G.S. and S.D.L. fabricated graphene/h-BN patterns by photolithography and FIB. W.Z. carried out STEM experiments. J.Z. and J.Y. performed AFM measurements. X.Y. carried out high-frequency measurements of the graphene/h-BN resonator. R.V., J.L. and P.M.A were responsible for project planning. Z.L., K.P.H., W.Z., J-C.I., J.L. and P.M.A. co-wrote the paper. All authors discussed the results.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Jun Lou or Pulickel M. Ajayan.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2012.256