Contamination on two-dimensional (2D) crystal surfaces poses serious limitations on fundamental studies and applications of 2D crystals. Surface residues induce uncontrolled doping and charge carrier scattering in 2D crystals, and trapped residues in mechanically assembled 2D vertical heterostructures often hinder coupling between stacked layers. Developing a process that can reduce the surface residues on 2D crystals is important. In this study, we explored the use of atomic force microscopy (AFM) to remove surface residues from 2D crystals. Using various transmission electron microscopy (TEM) investigations, we confirmed that surface residues on graphene samples can be effectively removed via contact-mode AFM scanning. The mechanical cleaning process dramatically increases the residue-free areas, where high-resolution imaging of graphene layers can be obtained. We believe that our mechanical cleaning process can be utilized to prepare high-quality 2D crystal samples with minimum surface residues.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was primarily supported by the Basic Science Research Program at the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2019R1C1C1003643).
© 2020, The Author(s).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology