© 2019

Nanomechanics in van der Waals Heterostructures


Part of the Springer Theses book series (Springer Theses)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Matthew Holwill
    Pages 1-6
  3. Matthew Holwill
    Pages 7-17
  4. Matthew Holwill
    Pages 19-31
  5. Matthew Holwill
    Pages 33-51
  6. Matthew Holwill
    Pages 85-91
  7. Matthew Holwill
    Pages 93-94
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 95-97

About this book


Micro/nano-mechanical systems are a crucial part of the modern world providing a plethora of sensing and actuation functionalities used in everything from the largest cargo ships to the smallest hand-held electronics; from the most advanced scientific and medical equipment to the simplest household items. Over the past few decades, the processes used to produce these devices have improved, supporting dramatic reductions in size, but there are fundamental limits to this trend that require a new production paradigm.

The 2004 discovery of graphene ushered in a new era of condensed matter physics research, that of two-dimensional materials. Being only a few atomic layers thick, this new class of materials exhibit unprecedented mechanical strength and flexibility and can couple to electric, magnetic and optical signals. Additionally, they can be combined to form van der Waals heterostructures in an almost limitless number of ways. They are thus ideal candidates to reduce the size and extend the capabilities of traditional micro/nano-mechanical systems and are poised to redefine the technological sphere.

This thesis attempts to develop the framework and protocols required to produce and characterise micro/nano-mechanical devices made from two-dimensional materials. Graphene and its insulating analogue, hexagonal boron nitride, are the most widely studied materials and their heterostructures are used as the test-bed for potential device architectures and capabilities. Interlayer friction, electro-mechanical actuation and surface reconstruction are some of the key phenomena investigated in this work.


Graphene Nanomechanics Nanofabrication of Van Der Waals Heterostructures Nanostructure fabrication protocols Van Der Waals Superlattice Moire Superlattice Nano-Mechanics

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.School of Physics & AstronomyUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

About the authors

Matthew Holwill graduated from the University of Exeter with an M.Sc. in 2014. He then moved to the University of Manchester and began his PhD working in the National Graphene Institute under the supervision of Nobel Laureate Prof. Sir. Konstantin Novoselov. During his PhD, a research secondment was undertaken at the National University of Singapore. Currently he is a research associate at the National Graphene Institute in Manchester. 

Bibliographic information

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Chemical Manufacturing