A Polymer-Free Technique For Assembling Van Der Waals Heterostructures Using Flexible Si Nitride Membranes


A technical paper titled “Clean assembly of van der Waals heterostructures using silicon nitride membranes” was published by researchers at University of Manchester, Imperial College London, National Institute for Materials Science (Japan), and University of Lancaster.


Van der Waals heterostructures are fabricated by layer-by-layer assembly of individual two-dimensional materials and can be used to create a wide range of electronic devices. However, current assembly techniques typically use polymeric supports, which limit the cleanliness—and thus the electronic performance—of such devices. Here, we report a polymer-free technique for assembling van der Waals heterostructures using flexible silicon nitride membranes. Eliminating the polymeric supports allows the heterostructures to be fabricated in harsher environmental conditions (incompatible with a polymer) such as at temperatures of up to 600 °C, in organic solvents and in ultra-high vacuum. The resulting heterostructures have high-quality interfaces without interlayer contamination and exhibit strong electronic and optoelectronic behaviour. We use the technique to assemble twisted-graphene heterostructures in ultra-high vacuum, resulting in a tenfold improvement in moiré superlattice homogeneity compared to conventional transfer techniques.

Find the technical paper here. Published December 2023.

Wang, W., Clark, N., Hamer, M. et al. Clean assembly of van der Waals heterostructures using silicon nitride membranes. Nat Electron (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41928-023-01075-y


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