2D Materials


Responsible Scientist:  Irene Palacio

The 2D materials reseach line in ESISNA group focuses on the study of graphene and other 2D materials. It comprises from fundamental studies at the atomic scale to direct technological applications of this material. We work in the development of new strategies to overcome the graphene drawbacks in optoelectronics and biosensing technologies.

In particular we aim at looking for new 2D structures with upstanding electronic properties. Graphene, doped graphene, graphene flakes,  carbonaceous 2D membranes or other 2D-adlayers are among the materials we study. We are also investigating the structure of graphene epitaxially grown on different metals to understand the coupling between substrate and 2D layer and the origin of the «Moiré» patterns (coincidence networks).We are also seeking new strategies for growing graphene directly on arbitrary surfaces (semiconductor and insulator) or trying to reduce the strong interaction with the metal underneath. For this propose we  grow graphene by MBE techniques or we intercalate a buffer layer separating the graphene from the substrate.


STM image of graphene grown on Pt(111).

Graphene functionalization with organics arises as a very promising route towards the development of graphene-based materials with tailored electronic properties. However, the high chemical inertness of graphene turns into very difficult task a controlled and selective covalent functionalization with aromatics.  we propose a new mechanism for promoting highly specific covalent bonding of any amino-terminated organic molecule and a description of the operating processes at the nanoscale.

Key publications:

  • Azpeitia I. Palacio, J. I. Martinez, I. Muñoz-Otxando, K. Lauwaet, F. Mompean, G. J. Ellis, M. García-Hernández, J. A. Martín-Gago, C. Munuera, M. F. López. Oxygen intercalation in PVD graphene grown on copper substrates: a decoupling approach. App. Surf. Sci, 529, 147100 (2020)
  • Backes et al. Production and processing of graphene and related materials. Topical Review. 2D Materials, 7, 022001 (2020)
  • Palacio, K. Lauwaet, L. Vázquez, F.J. Palomares, H. González-Herrero, J.I. Martínez, L. Aballe, M. Foerster, M. García-Hernández and J.A. Martin-Gago. Ultra-thin NaCl films as protective layers for graphene. Nanoscale, 11, 16767 (2019). (Back cover)
  • Palacio, L. Aballe, M. Foerster, D. G de Oteyza, M. García-Hernández and J.A. Martin-Gago. Reversible Graphene decoupling by NaCl photo-dissociation. 2D Materials, 6, 025021 (2019)
  • Bueno et al. Versatile Graphene-Based Platform for Robust Nanobiohybrid Interfaces. ACS Omega 4, 3287-3297 (2019)
  • Bueno, I. Palacio, C. Munuera, L. Aballe, M. Foerster, W. Strupinski, M. Garcia-Hernandez, J.A. Martin-Gago and M.F. Lopez, F. Structural characterization of as-grown and quasi-free standing graphene layers on SiC. Applied Surface Science, 466, 51-58. (2019).
  • Palacio, G. Otero-Irurueta, C. Alonso, J. I. Martínez, E. López-Elvira, I. Muñoz-Ochando, H. J. Salavagione, M. F. López, Mar García-Hernández, J. Méndez, G. J. Ellis and J. A. Martín-Gago. Chemistry below graphene: Decoupling epitaxial graphene from metals by potential-controlled electrochemical oxidation. Carbon, 129, 837 – 846 (2018)
  • Azpeitia J.; Otero-Irurueta G.; Palacio I.; Martinez J. I.; Ruiz del Árbol N.; Santoro G.; Gutiérrez A.; Aballe L.; Foerster M.; Kalbac M.; Vales V.; Mompeán F. J.; García-Hernández M.; Martín-Gago J. A.; Munuera C. ; López M. F. High-quality PVD graphene growth by fullerene decomposition on Cu foils. Carbon 119, (2017), 535–543.
  • Bueno, J.I. Martinez, R. Luccas, N. Ruiz del Arbol, C. Munuera, I. Palacio, F. Palomares, K. Lauwaet, S. Thakur, J.M. Baranowski, W. Strupinski, M.F. Lopez, F. Mompean, M. Garcia-Hernandez, and J.A. Martin-Gago. Highly selective covalent organic functionalization of epitaxial graphene. Nat. Comm. 8, 15306 (2017)


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