A universal substrate for the nanoscale investigation of two-dimensional materials

Tuan Hoang Tran, Raul D. Rodriguez, Dmitry Cheshev, Nelson E. Villa, Muhammad Awais Aslam, Jelena Pesic, Aleksandar Matkovic, Evgeniya Sheremet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Since discovering two-dimensional materials, there has been a great interest in exploring, understanding, and taking advantage of their unique properties. Si/SiO2 is one of the most used substrates for the deposition and
characterization of 2D materials due to its availability and optical contrast. This work goes beyond the con- ventional substrate and introduces highly-ordered pyrolytic graphite (HOPG) as universal support for investi- gating two-dimensional materials due to several unique properties such as chemical and temperature stability, intrinsic high flatness, reusability, electrical conductivity, ease of use, availability, and enhanced adhesion of two-dimensional materials. We demonstrate this by analyzing several 2D materials with advanced atomic force microscopy methods, Raman and photoluminescence spectroscopy with hyperspectral imaging, and scanning electron microscopy with elementary analysis imaging. The strong adhesion to HOPG allowed the instant
deposition of different two-dimensional materials GaSe, MoS2, Zn2In2S5, talc, and h-BN. This feat is hard to accomplish on the conventional SiO2 substrate without polymer-assisted transfer. Moreover, this strong inter- action can strain 2D materials deposited on HOPG, giving localized changes in reactivity, optical,
and electronic properties. This effect is explored for selective Ag deposition on strained regions of 2D materials to activate photocatalytic reactions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number154585
Number of pages10
JournalApplied surface science
Issue number1 December
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Aug 2022

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