Surface Physics
Osterwalder Group
Greber Group

2D Materials

Figure 1: Self assembly of an ice hexamer in a pore of the hexagonal boron nitride nanomesh.The pore has a diameter of 2 nm and the 3 water molecules that are bonding to the surface are visible, only. The picture is a 3D rendering of scanning tunneling microscopy data in Ma et al. Langmuir, 28, 15246 (2012).

The project "2D materials" investigates two dimensional materials, i.e. materials that consist in surface and/or interface only.

The project significantly profited from international collaborations in concerted research projects (STREP and Sinergia). Today we are members in the Graphene flagship.

In collaboration with Dr. Marcella Iannuzzi, Prof Jürg Hutter UZH, Prof. P. Willmott, PSI Villigen, Dr. Matthias Schreck U Augsburg and the European Flagship Graphene (WP1).

Nanomesh history

The project started with the synthesis of single layer hexagonal boron nitride on nickel. In 2003 the h-BN nanomesh was discovered. It is the realization of a super-honeycomb with a lattice constant of 3.2 nm and was investigated in the subsequent years, where large lateral electrical fields were found in the pores of the super-honeycomb.

Later it was shown that the super-honeycomb may be switched reversibly into a flat state by hydrogen intercalation. In 2012 it was demonstrated by low energy ion implantation that single atoms may be immobilized beneath the nanomesh forming nanotents and that the concommitant vacancy defects lead to the "can-opener" effect, i.e. the controlled creation of 2nm voids in the h-BN single layer.


Latest publications