Franckeite as a naturally occurring van der Waals heterostructure

Aday J. Molina-Mendoza, Emerson Giovanelli, Wendel S. Paz, Miguel Angel Ninõ, Joshua O. Island, Charalambos Evangeli, Luciá Aballe, Michael Foerster, Herre S.J. Van Der Zant, Gabino Rubio-Bollinger, Nicolás Agraït, JJ Palacios, Emilio M. Pérez, Andres Castellanos-Gomez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)


The fabrication of van der Waals heterostructures, artificial materials assembled by individual stacking of 2D layers, is among the most promising directions in 2D materials research. Until now, the most widespread approach to stack 2D layers relies on deterministic placement methods, which are cumbersome and tend to suffer from poor control over the lattice orientations and the presence of unwanted interlayer adsorbates. Here, we present a different approach to fabricate ultrathin heterostructures by exfoliation of bulk franckeite which is a naturally occurring and air stable van der Waals heterostructure (composed of alternating SnS 2-like and PbS-like layers stacked on top of each other). Presenting both an attractive narrow bandgap (<0.7 eV) and p-type doping, we find that the material can be exfoliated both mechanically and chemically down to few-layer thicknesses. We present extensive theoretical and experimental characterizations of the material's electronic properties and crystal structure, and explore applications for near-infrared photodetectors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14409
Number of pages9
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2017


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