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Superlattices in van der Waals materials: A Low-Energy Electron Microscopy study

n this PhD thesis, the recombination of different atomic lattices in stacked 2D materials such as twisted bilayer graphene is studied. Using the different possibilities of Low-Energy Electron Microscopy (LEEM), the domain forming between the two atomic layers with small differences is studied.

Jong, T.A. de
03 November 2022
Thesis in Leiden Repository

Superlattices in three such 2D material systems are studied. In twisted bilayer graphene, the small difference is caused by a twist of approximately one degree between the layers. In graphene on SiC, the difference is caused by the lattice mismatch between a buffer layer bound to the substrate and the next graphene layer. For both, we show that domains of different shapes and sizes occur and relate them to strain and lattice mismatch. The third system studied is tantalum disulfide. In this layered material, two different superlattices occur: a superlattice between atomic layers with different atomic arrangements in the layers, so-called polytypes, and the superlattices between the atomic lattice and the Charge Density Waves (CDW). CDWs cause a large temperature dependent resistivity change. The influence of a mixture of different polytypes on the precise CDW states is studied using LEEM spectroscopy and local Low-Energy Electron Diffraction.

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