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Direct imaging and electronic structure modulation of moiré superlattices at the 2D/3D interface

Kate Reidy⁺, Georgios Varnavides⁺, Joachim Dahl Thomsen, Abinash Kumar, Thang Pham, Arhur M. Blackburn, Polina Anikeeva, Prineha Narang, James M. LeBeau, Frances M. Ross
Nat Commun 12, 1290 (2021), Publisher’s version

Abstract #

The atomic structure at the interface between two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) materials influences properties such as contact resistance, photo-response, and high-frequency electrical performance. Moiré engineering is yet to be utilized for tailoring this 2D/3D interface, despite its success in enabling correlated physics at 2D/2D interfaces. Using epitaxially aligned MoS2/Au{111} as a model system, we demonstrate the use of advanced scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) combined with a geometric convolution technique in imaging the crystallographic 32 Å moiré pattern at the 2D/3D interface. This moiré period is often hidden in conventional electron microscopy, where the Au structure is seen in projection. We show, via ab initio electronic structure calculations, that charge density is modulated according to the moiré period, illustrating the potential for (opto-)electronic moiré engineering at the 2D/3D interface. Our work presents a general pathway to directly image periodic modulation at interfaces using this combination of emerging microscopy techniques.