The Princess and the Nanoscale Pea: Long-Range Penetration of Surface Distortions into Layered Materials Stacks

Davide Mandelli, Wengen Ouyang, Michael Urbakh, Oded Hod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The penetration of moiré out-of-plane distortions, formed at the heterogeneous interface of graphene and hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN), into the layered h-BN stack is investigated. For aligned contacts, the estimated characteristic penetration length of ∼4.7 nm suggests that even at the far surface of a ∼25 h-BN layer thick slab stacked atop the contact, a corrugation of ∼0.1 Å, well within experimental resolution, should still be clearly evident. The penetration length is found to strongly reduce with increasing misalignment angle of the graphene/h-BN junction, where the effect of thermal fluctuations conceals the moiré-induced corrugation in the bulk. These results can be rationalized by continuum elastic theory arguments for anisotropic media. Our findings, which are expected to generally apply for layered heterojunctions, may serve as a route to control the surface corrugation, adhesive properties, and tribological characteristics of two-dimensional materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7603-7609
Number of pages7
JournalACS Nano
Volume13
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 23 Jul 2019

Keywords

  • continuum elastic theory
  • graphene
  • heterojunctions
  • hexagonal boron nitride
  • molecular mechanics

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