Two-dimensional gallium nitride realized via graphene encapsulation

Zakaria Y. Al Balushi, Ke Wang, Ram Krishna Ghosh, Rafael A. Vilá, Sarah M. Eichfeld, Joshua D. Caldwell, Xiaoye Qin, Yu Chuan Lin, Paul A. Desario, Greg Stone, Shruti Subramanian, Dennis F. Paul, Robert M. Wallace, Suman Datta, Joan M. Redwing, Joshua A. Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

616 Scopus citations


The spectrum of two-dimensional (2D) and layered materials beyond graphene' offers a remarkable platform to study new phenomena in condensed matter physics. Among these materials, layered hexagonal boron nitride (hBN), with its wide bandgap energy (1/45.0-6.0 eV), has clearly established that 2D nitrides are key to advancing 2D devices. A gap, however, remains between the theoretical prediction of 2D nitrides beyond hBN' and experimental realization of such structures. Here we demonstrate the synthesis of 2D gallium nitride (GaN) via a migration-enhanced encapsulated growth (MEEG) technique utilizing epitaxial graphene. We theoretically predict and experimentally validate that the atomic structure of 2D GaN grown via MEEG is notably different from reported theory. Moreover, we establish that graphene plays a critical role in stabilizing the direct-bandgap (nearly 5.0 eV), 2D buckled structure. Our results provide a foundation for discovery and stabilization of 2D nitrides that are difficult to prepare via traditional synthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1166-1171
Number of pages6
JournalNature Materials
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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