Atomic scale characterization of ad-atoms/molecules on two-dimensional materials systems

Graphene is a two-dimensional, one atom thick (0.34 nm), sp2 hybridized carbon material that has a honeycomb-like arrangement of atoms in its crystal lattice. It has found itself in an elite club of advanced materials since its discovery in 2004, and promises to enlighten the future with its unique electrical (high mobility of electrons) and mechanical properties, which have been explored and tested in recent years.

This project envisions deposition of functionalized organic/inorganic molecules, using the electron spray ion beam deposition (ES-IBD) technique with the soft landing mechanism, on free-standing single-layer graphene (SLG). Atomic scale characterization will be performed using state of the art aberration corrected high resolution transmission electron microscopy. Also, HRTEM characterization will be carried out at low operating voltages (viz. 80 kV, 60 kV and 30 kV) to avoid radiation damage to the beam sensitive molecules under investigation. Further on, techniques like STEM/EELS will be employed to map and understand the chemistry of adsorbed molecules on free-standing SLG at atomic scale.

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