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Graphene Heterostructures by Self-Assembly:Top-down meets Bottom-up (2D-HETEROSTRUCTURES)
Start date: May 1, 2014, End date: Apr 30, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

One-atom thin two-dimensional nanomaterials possess unique properties different from their bulk counterparts. Initiated by the discovery of graphene, many stable one atom-thick layers such as boron nitride, molybdenum disulphide, tungsten disulphide etc., have been isolated and characterized. However, the individual properties of such 2D-atomic crystals (except graphene) were modest. The combination of isolated single atomic layers into designer structures, named as 2D-heterostrcutures, is predicted to give synergetic properties. In order to harness the interesting properties the combination of various 2D-atomic crystals have to offer, a method to assemble them in a simple and scalable way is required. Currently, the only method known is manual placing of the 2D-atomic crystal layers sequentially which limits the scope of the study of such structures. The objective of the proposal is to assemble layered (each layer is one atom thick) stacks of graphene superlattices and heterostructures with other 2D-atomic crystals such as BN, MoS2, WS2 etc., by deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)-mediated assembly. DNA mediated assembly is highly programmable by chemically specific interaction between nucleotides, length of the DNA, strength of the interactions in addition to the symmetry control of the assembled structures. Top-down lithography will be combined with bottom-up DNA assembly to fabricate seed layers of DNA for the guided assembly which lead to patterned heterostructures. This approach is targeted toward combinatorial screening of exotic properties of varied architectures of heterostructures with control over the composition of 2D-atomic crystals and spacing between the layers (controlled by DNA). The anticipated structures would be vertical atomic scale Legos of 2D-atomic crystal layers with DNA spacers.
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