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Moiré physics in twisted van der Waals heterostructures of 2D materials


Artificial moiré superlattices are formed by vertically stacking two monolayers of two-dimensional (2D) materials and rotating one of the layers with a finite twist angle. The resultant moiré pattern in the twisted heterostructures exhibits periodic length scale larger than that of lattice atoms of the individual layers. Furthermore, the moiré pattern is found to control the interlayer hybridization in a twisted bilayer heterostructure creating strongly correlated quantum states. Owing to the moiré pattern–introduced interlayer hybridization, several exotic quantum phenomena such as flat bands, moiré excitons, surface plasmon polaritons, surface phonon polaritons, surface exciton polaritons, interlayer magnetism, and 2D ferroelectricity are recently found in the engineered materials with additional twist degree of freedom. Here we review some notable advances in moiré physics associated with twisted bilayer heterostructures of 2D crystals including (A) flat bands in the twisted bilayer graphene, (B) exciton superlattices in the twisted transition metal dichalcogenides, (C) topological polaritons and photonic superlattices in the twisted 2D metal oxides, (D) interlayer magnetism in the stacked 2D magnetic semiconductors, and (E) ferroelectricity in moiré quantum materials. This story-of-twist begins with (1) an introduction to twisted heterostructures, (2) a correlation between van der Waals heterostructures and moiré superlattices, (3) how to design and fabricate moiré quantum materials, (4) discussion on five emergent quantum phenomena associated with twisted bilayer heterostructures as listed above, and finally (5) what are the challenges in fabrication, characterization, and applications of twisted heterostructures. This review concludes with an outlook pointing toward innovation in large-area design of twisted heterostructures for their potential applications in quantum nanoelectronics, quantum photonics, optoelectronics, quantum computing, nonvolatile memory, quantum emission, and quantum communication. Moiré physics of moiré quantum materials is a relatively new and extremely exciting area of research. This article provides a general overview of recent advances of moiré physics in twisted van der Waals heterostructures of 2D materials.

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SKB acknowledges the support from the Department of Chemistry and Physics and the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. NRP acknowledges the funding support from NSF-PREM through NSF DMR # 1826886.

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Correspondence to Sanjay K. Behura.

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Behura, S.K., Miranda, A., Nayak, S. et al. Moiré physics in twisted van der Waals heterostructures of 2D materials. emergent mater. 4, 813–826 (2021).

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  • 2D materials
  • Van der Waals heterostructures
  • Twisted bilayers
  • Moiré physics