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      Self-assembly of electronically abrupt borophene/organic lateral heterostructures

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          Integrating borophene with organic molecules results in electronically abrupt self-assembled lateral heterostructures.


          Two-dimensional boron sheets (that is, borophene) have recently been realized experimentally and found to have promising electronic properties. Because electronic devices and systems require the integration of multiple materials with well-defined interfaces, it is of high interest to identify chemical methods for forming atomically abrupt heterostructures between borophene and electronically distinct materials. Toward this end, we demonstrate the self-assembly of lateral heterostructures between borophene and perylene-3,4,9,10-tetracarboxylic dianhydride (PTCDA). These lateral heterostructures spontaneously form upon deposition of PTCDA onto submonolayer borophene on Ag(111) substrates as a result of the higher adsorption enthalpy of PTCDA on Ag(111) and lateral hydrogen bonding among PTCDA molecules, as demonstrated by molecular dynamics simulations. In situ x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy confirms the weak chemical interaction between borophene and PTCDA, while molecular-resolution ultrahigh-vacuum scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy reveal an electronically abrupt interface at the borophene/PTCDA lateral heterostructure interface. As the first demonstration of a borophene-based heterostructure, this work will inform emerging efforts to integrate borophene into nanoelectronic applications.

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          Most cited references 27

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          Van der Waals heterostructures

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            Lateral heterojunctions within monolayer MoSe2-WSe2 semiconductors.

            Heterojunctions between three-dimensional (3D) semiconductors with different bandgaps are the basis of modern light-emitting diodes, diode lasers and high-speed transistors. Creating analogous heterojunctions between different 2D semiconductors would enable band engineering within the 2D plane and open up new realms in materials science, device physics and engineering. Here we demonstrate that seamless high-quality in-plane heterojunctions can be grown between the 2D monolayer semiconductors MoSe2 and WSe2. The junctions, grown by lateral heteroepitaxy using physical vapour transport, are visible in an optical microscope and show enhanced photoluminescence. Atomically resolved transmission electron microscopy reveals that their structure is an undistorted honeycomb lattice in which substitution of one transition metal by another occurs across the interface. The growth of such lateral junctions will allow new device functionalities, such as in-plane transistors and diodes, to be integrated within a single atomically thin layer.
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              Graphene and boron nitride lateral heterostructures for atomically thin circuitry.

              Precise spatial control over the electrical properties of thin films is the key capability enabling the production of modern integrated circuitry. Although recent advances in chemical vapour deposition methods have enabled the large-scale production of both intrinsic and doped graphene, as well as hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN), controlled fabrication of lateral heterostructures in these truly atomically thin systems has not been achieved. Graphene/h-BN interfaces are of particular interest, because it is known that areas of different atomic compositions may coexist within continuous atomically thin films and that, with proper control, the bandgap and magnetic properties can be precisely engineered. However, previously reported approaches for controlling these interfaces have fundamental limitations and cannot be easily integrated with conventional lithography. Here we report a versatile and scalable process, which we call 'patterned regrowth', that allows for the spatially controlled synthesis of lateral junctions between electrically conductive graphene and insulating h-BN, as well as between intrinsic and substitutionally doped graphene. We demonstrate that the resulting films form mechanically continuous sheets across these heterojunctions. Conductance measurements confirm laterally insulating behaviour for h-BN regions, while the electrical behaviour of both doped and undoped graphene sheets maintain excellent properties, with low sheet resistances and high carrier mobilities. Our results represent an important step towards developing atomically thin integrated circuitry and enable the fabrication of electrically isolated active and passive elements embedded in continuous, one-atom-thick sheets, which could be manipulated and stacked to form complex devices at the ultimate thickness limit.

                Author and article information

                [1 ]Applied Physics Graduate Program, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.
                [2 ]Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.
                [3 ]Center for Nanoscale Materials, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL 60439, USA.
                [4 ]Department of Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.
                [5 ]Department of Physics and Astronomy, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.
                [6 ]Department of Chemistry, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.
                [7 ]Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author. Email: m-hersam@
                Sci Adv
                Sci Adv
                Science Advances
                American Association for the Advancement of Science
                February 2017
                22 February 2017
                : 3
                : 2
                5321450 1602356 10.1126/sciadv.1602356
                Copyright © 2017, The Authors

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

                Funded by: FundRef, Office of Naval Research;
                Award ID: ID0EGYAI14022
                Award ID: N00014-14-1-0669
                Award Recipient :
                Funded by: FundRef, Division of Materials Research;
                Award ID: ID0EA5AI14023
                Award ID: DMR-1121262
                Award Recipient :
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