Toward Two-Dimensional All-Carbon Heterostructures via Ion Beam Patterning of Single-Layer Graphene

Jani Kotakoski, Christian Brand, Yigal Lilach, Ori Cheshnovsky, Clemens Mangler, Markus Arndt, Jannik C. Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Graphene has many claims to fame: it is the thinnest possible membrane, it has unique electronic and excellent mechanical properties, and it provides the perfect model structure for studying materials science at the atomic level. However, for many practical studies and applications the ordered hexagon arrangement of carbon atoms in graphene is not directly suitable. Here, we show that the atoms can be locally either removed or rearranged into a random pattern of polygons using a focused ion beam (FIB). The atomic structure of the disordered regions is confirmed with atomic-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy images. These structural modifications can be made on macroscopic scales with a spatial resolution determined only by the size of the ion beam. With just one processing step, three types of structures can be defined within a graphene layer: chemically inert graphene, chemically active amorphous 2D carbon, and empty areas. This, along with the changes in properties, gives promise that FIB patterning of graphene will open the way for creating all-carbon heterostructures to be used in fields ranging from nanoelectronics and chemical sensing to composite materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5944-5949
Number of pages6
JournalNano Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - 9 Sep 2015


  • Graphene
  • amorphization
  • focused ion beam
  • scanning transmission electron microscopy


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