van der Waals heterostructures combining graphene and hexagonal boron nitride

Matthew Yankowitz, Qiong Ma, Pablo Jarillo-Herrero, Brian J. LeRoy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

326 Scopus citations


As the first in a large family of 2D van der Waals (vdW) materials, graphene has attracted enormous attention owing to its remarkable properties. The recent development of simple experimental techniques for combining graphene with other atomically thin vdW crystals to form heterostructures has enabled the exploration of the properties of these so-called vdW heterostructures. Hexagonal boron nitride is the second most popular vdW material after graphene, owing to the new physics and device properties of vdW heterostructures combining the two. Hexagonal boron nitride can act as a featureless dielectric substrate for graphene, enabling devices with ultralow disorder that allow access to the intrinsic physics of graphene, such as the integer and fractional quantum Hall effects. Additionally, under certain circumstances, hexagonal boron nitride can modify the optical and electronic properties of graphene in new ways, inducing the appearance of secondary Dirac points or driving new plasmonic states. Integrating other vdW materials into these heterostructures and tuning their new degrees of freedom, such as the relative rotation between crystals and their interlayer spacing, provide a path for engineering and manipulating nearly limitless new physics and device properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-125
Number of pages14
JournalNature Reviews Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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