Deducing the internal interfaces of twisted multilayer graphene via moiré-regulated surface conductivity

Huan Wang, Sen Wang, Shuai Zhang*, Mengzhen Zhu, Wengen Ouyang*, Qunyang Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The stacking state of atomic layers critically determines the physical properties of twisted van der Waals materials. Unfortunately, precise characterization of the stacked interfaces remains a great challenge as they are buried internally. With conductive atomic force microscopy, we show that the moiré superlattice structure formed at the embedded interfaces of small-angle twisted multilayer graphene (tMLG) can noticeably regulate surface conductivity even when the twisted interfaces are 10 atomic layers beneath the surface. Assisted by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, a theoretical model is proposed to correlate surface conductivity with the sequential stacking state of the graphene layers of tMLG. The theoretical model is then employed to extract the complex structure of a tMLG sample with crystalline defects. Probing and visualizing the internal stacking structures of twisted layered materials is essential for understanding their unique physical properties, and our work offers a powerful tool for this via simple surface conductivity mapping.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbernwad175
JournalNational Science Review
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • atomic reconstruction
  • electrical conductivity
  • embedded interface
  • moiré pattern
  • twisted graphene


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