Surface Physics and Low Dimensional Systems
Osterwalder and Greber Group

2D Materials

3D rendered scanning tunneling microscopy image of the can-opener effect on the h-BN nanomesh (Data from Cun et al. Nano Letters 13, 2098 (2013)). Orange cut out h-BN lid, yellow light green corresponding 2 nanometer void and rhodium substrate, blue and green nanomesh pores and wires, respectively.

In this project we investigate two dimensional (2D) materials, i.e. materials that consist in surfaces and/or interfaces 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 (UZH), Dr. Matthias Muntwiler (PSI Villigen), Dr. Matthias Schreck (U Augsburg, Germany) and the European Flagship Graphene (WP3).


1999 synthesis of single layer hexagonal boron nitride on nickel.
2003 the h-BN nanomesh was discovered.
2007 lateral electrical fields were found in the pores of the nanomesh super-honeycomb.
2012 single atoms may be immobilized beneath the nanomesh forming nanotents and the concommitant vacancy defects lead to the "can-opener" effect.
2014 CVD growth of h-BN monolayer on 4-inch wafers.
2016 account on the electrochemical switching of the corrugation of the nanomesh and a concomitant macroscopic change of stiction.
2018 transfer of centimeter sized h-BN on arbitrary substrates.
2020 back-transfer of h-BN on Rh: The quality of h-BN layer can be further improved via 2D distillation.


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