Theses Doctoral

Surface Electron Dynamics for Intercalated Graphene (and Other 2D Materials) on a Metal Template

Lin, Yi

In this dissertation, I report my thesis work on studying surface electron dynamics for intercalated graphene on a metal template using both experimental and theoretical methods. A general description of the research motivation is summarized in the first Chapter. The experimental and theoretical techniques involved in this thesis research are introduced in Chapter 2. In Chapter 3 and Chapter 4, the key findings of this thesis work are reported. These findings concern two novel surface electronic phenomena in oxygen intercalated-graphene on Ir(111) interface.
The first phenomenon was the observation of strongly excited image potential states (IPS) in a well-defined quasi-free-standing graphene (QFG) at an oxygen-intercalated Gr/Ir interface. Specifically, the interfaces were synthesized to form Gr/Ir and QFG (Gr/O/Ir) by oxygen intercalation. The syntheses were monitored by low-energy-electron-diffraction (LEED). Our research succeeded in exciting and measuring IPSs on both interfaces by angle-resolved two-photon-photoemission (AR-2PPE) and then the increasing of the IPS binding energy of 0.17 eV following the oxygen intercalation. Finally, our work proposed a theoretical model based on density-functional-theory (DFT) calculations and effective potential models to simulate the surface potential variations in the presence of the intercalated oxygen and its influence on IPSs. The energy shift could be understood by an approximation considering only the out-of-plane chemical and structural modulations. In addition, the results of the model are in strong agreement with the measured IPS band structures. The agreement enables us to attribute the IPS binding energy shift to two potential modulations: a deepened and widened interfacial potential well due to the presence of oxygen intercalants and an increased graphene-Ir interlayer distance.
The second phenomenon investigated was a non-dispersive unoccupied band at the Brillouin Zone (BZ) center, which was observed only for Gr/O/Ir but not for Gr/Ir interface. The unoccupied state is approximately 2.6 eV above Fermi energy and was discovered by AR-2PPE. The existence of the non-dispersive band inspired us to undertake a careful examination of the in-plane structural modulation induced by oxygen intercalants. LEED measurements confirm the presence of an in-plane 2$\times$2 periodicity of the intercalated oxygen in QFG. This periodicity can provide periodic perturbation to QFG and can generate the flat unoccupied state due to zone-folding effects from the BZ edge. Angle-resolved photoemission measurements and DFT-based calculations were used to compare the measured Gr/O/Ir states to that of Gr/Ir and O/Ir, providing solid evidence for this zone-folding interpretation. The realization of mixing bands between high symmetry points in BZ by zone-folding in Gr/O/Ir demonstrates a pathway for engineering the graphene electronic structure and its two-photon optical excitation via other ordered intercalants.
In addition, a separate but related collaboration work on the phase-transition and electronic-structure evolution in W-doped \ce{MoTe2} is documented in Chapter 5. In this work, I contributed expertise in photoemission to study the critical dopant stoichiometry responsible for the phase transition.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics
Thesis Advisors
Osgood, Jr., Richard M.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
January 10, 2019