Scientific Overview

Two-dimensional (2D) materials are crystals with a thickness of only one or very few atoms. After the discovery of graphene, the most prominent representative of this class of materials, many other 2D crystals have been identified, often with intriguing properties that have no counterparts in three-dimensional solids.

Furthermore, stacking 2D crystals in a well-defined manner can result in new states of matter, even if the individual layers are only weakly bound by van der Waals (vdW) interaction. The most striking example, published in 2018, is the transformation of bilayer graphene into a superconductor if the layers are twisted by a “magic angle” of about 1.1 degree. Such a delicate structure manipulation has become possible thanks to the massive research efforts in graphene-related materials, and opens the door to the investigation of phase transitions imposed by the so-called proximity effect, for example between Mott insulator and unconventional superconducting state, to a 2D ferromagnetic phase, or semiconductor-metal transitions. In addition, vdW heterostructures offer rich optical and optoelectronic properties, such as interlayer excitons and trions. The combination of 2D crystals with different properties, e.g. a 2D superconductor and a 2D topological insulator, may open the door to exotic physical phenomena such as Majorana fermions. The goal of the Priority Programme is to bundle the research efforts and expertise in the German scientific community to address the many open fundamental questions of stacked 2D materials.

Steering Committee

Contact

SPP office email: dfg-spp2244 (at) tu-dresden.de

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