Revealing the planar chemistry of two-dimensional heterostructures at the atomic level

Harry Chou, Ariel Ismach, Rudresh Ghosh, Rodney S. Ruoff*, Andrei Dolocan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Two-dimensional (2D) atomic crystals and their heterostructures are an intense area of study owing to their unique properties that result from structural planar confinement. Intrinsically, the performance of a planar vertical device is linked to the quality of its 2D components and their interfaces, therefore requiring characterization tools that can reveal both its planar chemistry and morphology. Here, we propose a characterization methodology combining (micro-) Raman spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy and time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry to provide structural information, morphology and planar chemical composition at virtually the atomic level, aimed specifically at studying 2D vertical heterostructures. As an example system, a graphene-on-h-BN heterostructure is analysed to reveal, with an unprecedented level of detail, the subtle chemistry and interactions within its layer structure that can be assigned to specific fabrication steps. Such detailed chemical information is of crucial importance for the complete integration of 2D heterostructures into functional devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7482
JournalNature Communications
StatePublished - 23 Jun 2015


FundersFunder number
Texas Materials Institute2013-NE-2400
National Science FoundationDMR-0923096
U.S. Department of DefenseN00014-10-1-0254
Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences0923096
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
W. M. Keck Foundation749046
Microelectronics Advanced Research Corporation
University of Texas at Austin


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