Two-dimensional (2D) materials have opened up new horizons in the field of materials science over the last ten years. Now EU-funding has fed into the creation of a combination of structures to form suspended buckyball sandwiches, offering interesting properties for further research.
Scientists have created a new structure by encapsulating a single layer of fullerene molecules between two graphene sheets. PICOMAT’s input, supported by EU-funding, helped to demonstrate the first direct images of a suspended 0D/2D heterostructure. This incorporates C60 molecules between two graphene layers in a suspended buckyball sandwich, as they reveal in a paper published in ‘Science Advances’.
As they state, they found, ‘clean and ordered C60 islands with thicknesses down to one molecule, shielded by the graphene layers from the microscope vacuum.’ They add that the material was partially protected from radiation damage during scanning transmission electron microscopy imaging. The resulting structures contain large atomically clean areas, allowing the direct study of C60 islands through scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM).
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