Molecular assembly on two-dimensional materials

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Abstract

Molecular self-assembly is a well-known technique to create highly functional nanostructures on surfaces. Self-assembly on two-dimensional (2D) materials is a developing field driven by the interest in functionalization of 2D materials in order to tune their electronic properties. This has resulted in the discovery of several rich and interesting phenomena. Here, we review this progress with an emphasis on the electronic properties of the adsorbates and the substrate in well-defined systems, as unveiled by scanning tunneling microscopy. The review covers three aspects of the self-assembly. The first one focuses on non-covalent self-assembly dealing with site-selectivity due to inherent moiré pattern present on 2D materials grown on substrates. We also see that modification of intermolecular interactions and molecule-substrate interactions influences the assembly drastically and that 2D materials can also be used as a platform to carry out covalent and metal-coordinated assembly. The second part deals with the electronic properties of molecules adsorbed on 2D materials. By virtue of being inert and possessing low density of states near the Fermi level, 2D materials decouple molecules electronically from the underlying metal substrate and allow high-resolution spectroscopy and imaging of molecular orbitals. The moiré pattern on the 2D materials causes site-selective gating and charging of molecules in some cases. The last section covers the effects of self-assembled, acceptor and donor type, organic molecules on the electronic properties of graphene as revealed by spectroscopy and electrical transport measurements. Non-covalent functionalization of 2D materials has already been applied for their application as catalysts and sensors. With the current surge of activity on building van der Waals heterostructures from atomically thin crystals, molecular self-assembly has the potential to add an extra level of flexibility and functionality for applications ranging from flexible electronics and OLEDs to novel electronic devices and spintronics.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number082001
Pages (from-to)1-23
JournalNanotechnology
Volume28
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • grapheme, hexagonal boron nitride, molecular self-assembly, scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS), two-dimensional materials

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