skip to main content


Title: Large Area Atomically Flat Surfaces via Exfoliation of Bulk Bi 2Se 3 Single Crystals

In this paper, we present an exfoliation method that produces cm 2-area atomically flat surfaces from bulk layered single crystals, with broad applications such as for the formation of lateral heterostructures and for use as substrates for van der Waals epitaxy. Single crystals of Bi 2Se 3 were grown using the Bridgman method and examined with X-ray reciprocal space maps, Auger spectroscopy, low-energy electron diffraction, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. An indium-bonding exfoliation technique was developed that produces multiple ~100 um thick atomically flat, macroscopic (>1 cm 2) slabs from each Bi 2Se 3 source crystal. Two-dimensional X-ray diffraction and reciprocal space maps confirm the high crystalline quality of the exfoliated surfaces. Atomic force microscopy reveals that the exfoliated surfaces have an average root-mean-square (RMS) roughness of ~0.04 nm across 400 μm 2 scans and an average terrace width of 70 um between step edges. First-principles calculations reveal exfoliation energies of Bi 2Se 3 and a number of other layered compounds, which demonstrate relevance of our method across the field of 2D materials. While many potential applications exist, excellent lattice matching with the III-V alloy space suggests immediate potential for the use of these exfoliated layered materials as epitaxial substrates formore » photovoltaic development.« less
ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [2] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [3] ; ORCiD logo [3] ;  [1] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [1]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States); Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States)
  2. Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States)
  3. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0897-4756
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Chemistry of Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 29; Journal Issue: 19; Journal ID: ISSN 0897-4756
American Chemical Society (ACS)
Research Org:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S), SunShot National Laboratory Multiyear Partnership (SuNLaMP)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; exfoliation; crystals; substrates; epitaxy
OSTI Identifier: