Stacking transition in rhombohedral graphite
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Few-layer graphene (FLG) has recently been intensively investigated for its variable electronic properties, which are defined by a local atomic arrangement. While the most natural arrangement of layers in FLG is ABA (Bernal) stacking, a metastable ABC (rhombohedral) stacking, characterized by a relatively high-energy barrier, can also occur. When both types of stacking occur in one FLG device, the arrangement results in an in-plane heterostructure with a domain wall (DW). In this paper, we present two approaches to demonstrate that the ABC stacking in FLG can be controllably and locally turned into the ABA stacking. In the first approach, we introduced Joule heating, and the transition was characterized by 2D peak Raman spectra at a submicron spatial resolution. The transition was initiated in a small region, and then the DW was controllably shifted until the entire device became ABA stacked. In the second approach, the transition was achieved by illuminating the ABC region with a train of 790-nm-wavelength laser pulses, and the transition was visualized by transmission electron microscopy in both diffraction and dark-field imaging modes. Further, using this approach, the DW was visualized at a nanoscale spatial resolution in the dark-field imaging mode.
Keywordsgraphene graphite van der Waals heterostructures domain wall Raman spectroscopy transmission electron microscopy electron diffraction structural transition
The LUMES laboratory acknowledges support from the NCCR MUST. G. B. acknowledges financial support from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) through the Grant No. 200021 159219/1. S. K. S. and A. M. acknowledge the support of EPSRC Early Career Fellowship EP/N007131/1. Y. Y. acknowledges the support of China Scholarship Council. We would like to acknowledge Giovanni M. Vanacore for insightful discussions.
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