Compressive strain in stacked 2D materials: from proximity to metastable hybridization

Principal investigator

Roland Bennewitz, INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials, roland.bennewitz (at) [webpage]

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A new regime of mechanical properties and electrical conductance evolves in stacked layers which are compressed by an external load. With the distance reduced by high pressure, a hybridization in form of temporary chemical bonds can form. We will apply the pressure and probe the material properties by the nanoscale conductive tip of an atomic force microscope. The dynamics of layer-layer interaction will be explored in atomic friction measurements. These experiments track the dissipation arising from the formation of temporary chemical bonds and probe their lifetime. Simultaneously, the changes in the electrical conductance due to hybridization will be measured.

We employ methods of Surface Science to prepare and characterize 2D materials. We image 2D materials by high-resolution atomic force microscopy (AFM) in ultra-high vacuum. Our experimental focus in this project is on atomic friction experiments and on local-probe electrical conductance measurements.