The reduced dimensionality of 2D Materials makes it possible to controllably tune their intrinsic physical properties through ad-hoc modifications of their surface. To exploit this unique capability, 2DMs are often as building blocks to fabricate stacked structures in which different layers are kept together by van der Waals interactions. The so-obtained van der Waals heterostructures are subject of intense study, as they represent the ideal experimental platform to fabricate materials by design and demonstrate novel device architectures. In the NanoPhysics lab, we aim at manipulating the intrinsic physical properties of 2D Materials by interfacing them with other 2D Materials and molecular monolayers, generating (hybrid) van der Waals heterostructures. In particular, we combine a device approach and surface science techniques to characterize the effects taking place at van der Waals interfaces and exploit them in technologically relevant applications.

The Marie Curie project SUPER2D, carried out in the NanoPhysics lab between 2017 and 2019, explored this field, aiming at interfacing 2D materials with molecular self-assembled monolayer to obtain hybrid heterostructures with engineered properties. Within this project, we exploited different, ad-hoc chosen molecular monolayers to introduce deterministic modifications in the intrinsic physical properties of 2DMs, with the ultimate goal of generating novel materials for next generation electronics and spintronics. Special focused was dedicated to (i) self-assembled monolayers, with the goal of improving the performances of 2DM-based field effect transistors and manipulating the superconductive transition in superconductive 2DMs; (ii) molecules composed of a metal atom coordinated by organic ligands, with the goal of altering the magnetic properties of 2D materials.

Published results in this topic:

We demonstrated the possibility to control the electrical transport in devices based on single layers of semiconducting WSe2 interfaced with functional molecules, achieving high-performance p-type or n-type field effect transistors.  ACS Nano 2019, 13 (10), 11613–11622.

We showed that VSe2 is not intrinsically ferromagnetic at the single layer limit, in contrast to a previous report reporting works.   J. Phys. Chem. C 2019, 123 (45), 27802–27810.

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