Long-range orientation and atomic attachment of nanocrystals in 2D honeycomb superlattices

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Science  29 May 2014:
DOI: 10.1126/science.1252642

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Oriented attachment of synthetic semiconductor nanocrystals is emerging as a route for obtaining new semiconductors that can have Dirac-type electronic bands like graphene, but also strong spin-orbit coupling. The two-dimensional assembly geometry will require both atomic coherence and long-range periodicity of the superlattices. We show how the interfacial self-assembly and oriented attachment of nanocrystals results in two-dimensional (2D) metal chalcogenide semiconductors with a honeycomb superlattice. We present an extensive atomic and nanoscale characterization of these systems using direct imaging and wave scattering methods. The honeycomb superlattices are atomically coherent, and have an octahedral symmetry that is buckled; the nanocrystals occupy two parallel planes. Considerable necking and large-scale atomic motion occurred during the attachment process.

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