Buckyball sandwiches

R Mirzayev and K Mustonen and MRA Monazam and A Mittelberger and TJ Pennycook and C Mangler and T Susi and J Kotakoski and JC Meyer, SCIENCE ADVANCES, 3, e1700176 (2017).

DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1700176

Two-dimensional (2D) materials have considerably expanded the field of materials science in the past decade. Even more recently, various 2D materials have been assembled into vertical van der Waals heterostacks, and it has been proposed to combine them with other low-dimensional structures to create new materials with hybridized properties. We demonstrate the first direct images of a suspended 0D/2D heterostructure that incorporates C-60 molecules between two graphene layers in a buckyball sandwich structure. We find clean and ordered C-60 islands with thicknesses down to one molecule, shielded by the graphene layers from the microscope vacuum and partially protected from radiation damage during scanning transmission electron microscopy imaging. The sandwich structure serves as a 2D nanoscale reaction chamber, allowing the analysis of the structure of the molecules and their dynamics at atomic resolution.

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