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Physics Colloquium: Van der Waals Heterostructures: There IS Plenty of Room at the Bottom

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Speaker: Dr. Artem Mishchenko, School of Physics and Astronomy, the University of Manchester, United Kingdom
Event date: Wednesday, 26 April 2017, 16:00 - 17:00
Place: Campus Limpertsberg, BSC 1.04
162a Avenue de la Faiencerie
L-1511 Luxembourg

“What could we do with layered structures with just the right layers? What would the properties of materials be if we could really arrange the atoms the way we want them?” asked Richard Feynman in his visionary lecture “There’s plenty of room at the bottom” back in 1959. In the light of a remarkable progress over the past few years, we are now on the verge of answering these questions.

In this talk, I will provide a fresh overview of the recent developments in the field of van der Waals heterostructures. The concept of heterostructures based on atom- or molecule-thick crystals has already revealed numerous exciting physical phenomena. This includes a reconstruction of electronic spectrum in graphene interacting with boron nitride which allowed to study the Hofstadter butterfly effect and topological currents. The possibility of positioning crystals in very close but controlled proximity to one another enables to study tunnelling and Coulomb drag effects. The use of semiconducting monolayers leads to the creation of optically active heterostructures.

The new physics observed in van der Waals heterostructures allowed for a demonstration of vertical tunnelling transistors and diodes with negative differential conductance, high-quality field-effect transistors, photovoltaic devices, and even a nanometre-thick light-emitting diodes. The range of functionalities for the demonstrated heterostructures is expected to grow further on increasing the number of available 2D crystals and improving their electronic quality. And with the rapid progress in the technology of chemical vapour deposition, we will soon see the scaling up of the production of such heterostructures.

Data: 2017_04_26_Artem Mishchenko _PC.pdf 33.02 kB