Atomically thin half-van der Waals metals enabled by confinement heteroepitaxy

Natalie Briggs, Brian Bersch, Yuanxi Wang, Jue Jiang, Roland J. Koch, Nadire Nayir, Ke Wang, Marek Kolmer, Wonhee Ko, Ana De La Fuente Duran, Shruti Subramanian, Chengye Dong, Jeffrey Shallenberger, Mingming Fu, Qiang Zou, Ya Wen Chuang, Zheng Gai, An Ping Li, Aaron Bostwick, Chris JozwiakCui Zu Chang, Eli Rotenberg, Jun Zhu, Adri C.T. van Duin, Vincent Crespi, Joshua A. Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Atomically thin two-dimensional (2D) metals may be key ingredients in next-generation quantum and optoelectronic devices. However, 2D metals must be stabilized against environmental degradation and integrated into heterostructure devices at the wafer scale. The high-energy interface between silicon carbide and epitaxial graphene provides an intriguing framework for stabilizing a diverse range of 2D metals. Here we demonstrate large-area, environmentally stable, single-crystal 2D gallium, indium and tin that are stabilized at the interface of epitaxial graphene and silicon carbide. The 2D metals are covalently bonded to SiC below but present a non-bonded interface to the graphene overlayer; that is, they are ‘half van der Waals’ metals with strong internal gradients in bonding character. These non-centrosymmetric 2D metals offer compelling opportunities for superconducting devices, topological phenomena and advanced optoelectronic properties. For example, the reported 2D Ga is a superconductor that combines six strongly coupled Ga-derived electron pockets with a large nearly free-electron Fermi surface that closely approaches the Dirac points of the graphene overlayer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)637-643
Number of pages7
JournalNature Materials
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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