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Watching (De)Intercalation of 2D Metals in Epitaxial Graphene: Insight into the Role of Defects



Falk Niefind, Qian Mao, Nadire Nayir, Malgorzata Kowalik, Jungjoon Ahn, Andrew Winchester, Chengye Dong, RINU ABRAHAM MANIYARA, Joshua A. Robinson, Adri van Duin, Sujitra Pookpanratana


The de-intercalation processes of 2D Ag and 2D Ga from the graphene-SiC interface was tracked using full-field photoemission electron microscopy. The intercalation "windows" are observed in both systems and follow very different dynamics. The de- and re-intercalation of Ag was followed where the intercalation velocity front is 0.5 nm s-1 ± 0.2 nm s.-1 The de-intercalation of 2D Ga differs from 2D Ag where it is irreversible, follows faster kinetics that are influenced by the shape of the intercalation window. These intercalation windows are likely to originate from engineered defects which promote the initial intercalation of 2D Ag and 2D Ga. We also propose that the metal intercalant and its interaction with graphene defects influences the (de)intercalation dynamics.


graphene, intercalation, dynamics, defects, heterostructures, nanoscale systems


Niefind, F. , Mao, Q. , Nayir, N. , Kowalik, M. , Ahn, J. , Winchester, A. , Dong, C. , MANIYARA, R. , Robinson, J. , van Duin, A. and Pookpanratana, S. (2023), Watching (De)Intercalation of 2D Metals in Epitaxial Graphene: Insight into the Role of Defects, Small, [online],, (Accessed April 19, 2024)
Created November 2, 2023, Updated March 18, 2024