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Title: Spatially Resolved One-Dimensional Boundary States in Graphene-Hexagonal Boron Nitride Planar Heterostructures

Two-dimensional (2D) interfaces between crystalline materials have been shown to generate unusual interfacial electronic states in complex oxides1-4. Recently, a onedimensional (1D) polar-on-nonpolar interface has been realized in hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) and graphene heterostructures 5-10, where a coherent 1D boundary is expected to possess peculiar electronic states dictated by edge states of graphene and the polarity of hBN 11-13. Here we present a combined scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and firstprinciples theory study of the graphene-hBN boundary to provide a rare glimpse into the spatial and energetic distributions of the 1D boundary states in real-space. The interfaces studied here are crystallographically coherent with sharp transitions from graphene zigzag edges to B (or N) terminated hBN atomic layers on a Cu foil substrate5. The revealed boundary states are about 0.6 eV below or above the Fermi energy depending on the termination of the hBN at the boundary, and are extended along but localized at the boundary with a lateral thickness of 2-3nm. These results suggest that unconventional physical effects similar to those observed at 2D interfaces can also exist in lower dimensions, opening a route for tuning of electronic properties at interfaces in 2D heterostructures.
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  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 5; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
Country of Publication:
United States