Electronic transport in a two-dimensional superlattice engineered via self-assembled nanostructures

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Nanoscience offers a unique opportunity to design modern materials from the bottom up via low-cost, solution processed assembly of nanoscale building blocks. These systems promise electronic band structure engineering using not only the nanoscale structural modulation, but also the mesoscale spatial patterning, although experimental realization of the latter has been challenging. Here, we design and fabricate a new type of artificial solid by stacking graphene on a self-assembled, nearly periodic array of nanospheres, and experimentally observe superlattice miniband effects. We find conductance dips at commensurate fillings of charge carriers per superlattice unit cell, which are key features of minibands that are induced by the quasi-periodic deformation of the graphene lattice. These dips become stronger when the lattice strain is larger. Using a tight-binding model, we simulate the effect of lattice deformation as a parameter affecting the inter-atomic hopping integral, and confirm the superlattice transport behavior. This 2D material-nanoparticle heterostructure enables facile band structure engineering via self-assembly, promising for large-area electronics and optoelectronics applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number31
Journalnpj 2D Materials and Applications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science


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