Fundamental physics of interfaces between 2D materials and metals
We will investigate the electronic band structure and optical properties of the interface between two-dimensional (2D) materials and metals. Our approach is a powerful combination of photoemission/Raman/photoluminescence spectroscopy and scanning probe microscopy, striving for advancement in the lateral resolution of the spectroscopic methods. We will use mechanical exfoliation of quality 2D materials onto metallic surfaces (i) under ambient and (ii) ultra-high vacuum (UHV) conditions. Extending this approach to UHV procedures paves the way towards control of the surface properties at the atomic scale and understanding the interfacial physics correlated to mechanical strain, orbital hybridization, and interface cleanliness. We will focus on semiconducting 2D materials such as transition metal dichalcogenides, since understanding the semiconductor-metal junction is crucial for the performance of electronic and optoelectronic devices. The project will have open new horizons nanotechnology research, not only towards exotic 2D crystals, but more generally any unstable materials.