Research ArticleENGINEERING

Buckyball sandwiches

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Science Advances  09 Jun 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 6, e1700176
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1700176

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Two-dimensional (2D) materials have considerably expanded the field of materials science in the past decade. Even more recently, various 2D materials have been assembled into vertical van der Waals heterostacks, and it has been proposed to combine them with other low-dimensional structures to create new materials with hybridized properties. We demonstrate the first direct images of a suspended 0D/2D heterostructure that incorporates C60 molecules between two graphene layers in a buckyball sandwich structure. We find clean and ordered C60 islands with thicknesses down to one molecule, shielded by the graphene layers from the microscope vacuum and partially protected from radiation damage during scanning transmission electron microscopy imaging. The sandwich structure serves as a 2D nanoscale reaction chamber, allowing the analysis of the structure of the molecules and their dynamics at atomic resolution.

  • vdW
  • vdWHs
  • heterostructure
  • C60
  • fullerene
  • buckyball
  • graphene
  • STEM
  • sandwich

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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