Document Type

Article

Department/Program

Physics

Pub Date

2016

Place of Publication

113

Volume

113

Issue

24

First Page

6623

Abstract

One-atom-thick crystalline layers and their vertical heterostructures carry the promise of designer electronic materials that are unattainable by standard growth techniques. To realize their potential it is necessary to isolate them from environmental disturbances, in particular those introduced by the substrate. However, finding and characterizing suitable substrates, and minimizing the random potential fluctuations they introduce, has been a persistent challenge in this emerging field. Here we show that Landau-level (LL) spectroscopy offers the unique capability to quantify both the reduction of the quasiparticles' lifetime and the long-range inhomogeneity due to random potential fluctuations. Harnessing this technique together with direct scanning tunneling microscopy and numerical simulations we demonstrate that the insertion of a graphene buffer layer with a large twist angle is a very effective method to shield a 2D system from substrate interference that has the additional desirable property of preserving the electronic structure of the system under study. We further show that owing to its remarkable nonlinear screening capability a single graphene buffer layer provides better shielding than either increasing the distance to the substrate or doubling the carrier density and reduces the amplitude of the potential fluctuations in graphene to values even lower than the ones in AB-stacked bilayer graphene.

DOI

10.1073/pnas.1606278113

Share

COinS