Van der Waals Solids from Self-Assembled Nanoscale Building Blocks

Bonnie Choi, Jaeeun Yu, Daniel W. Paley, M. Tuan Trinh, Maria V. Paley, Jessica M. Karch, Andrew C. Crowther, Chul Ho Lee, Roger A. Lalancette, Xiaoyang Zhu, Philip Kim, Michael L. Steigerwald, Colin Nuckolls, Xavier Roy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Traditional atomic van der Waals materials such as graphene, hexagonal boron-nitride, and transition metal dichalcogenides have received widespread attention due to the wealth of unusual physical and chemical behaviors that arise when charges, spins, and vibrations are confined to a plane. Though not as widespread as their atomic counterparts, molecule-based two-dimensional (2D) layered solids offer significant benefits; their structural flexibility will enable the development of materials with tunable properties. Here we describe a layered van der Waals solid self-assembled from a structure-directing building block and C60 fullerene. The resulting crystalline solid contains a corrugated monolayer of neutral fullerenes and can be mechanically exfoliated. The absorption spectrum of the bulk solid shows an optical gap of 390 ± 40 meV that is consistent with thermal activation energy obtained from electrical transport measurement. We find that the dimensional confinement of fullerenes significantly modulates the optical and electronic properties compared to the bulk solid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1445-1449
Number of pages5
JournalNano Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Feb 10

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Ryan Hastie for her help in making the figures and Timothy Atallah for his help with FT-IR measurement. Funding for this research was provided by the Center for Precision Assembly of Superstratic and Superatomic Solids, an NSF MRSEC (Award Number DMR-1420634) and in part by FAME, one of six centers of STARnet, a Semiconductor Research Corporation program sponsored by MARCO and DARPA. B.C. is supported by the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship under Grant DGE 11-44155. J.Y. thanks the Kwanjeong Educational Foundation for support. X-ray diffraction, AFM and SQUID measurements were performed in the Shared Materials Characterization Laboratory at Columbia University. Use of the Shared Materials Characterization Laboratory was made possible by funding from Columbia University. We also thank the Dean Lab in the Department of Physics at Columbia University for the use of their optical microscope.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.


  • Self-assembly
  • fullerene
  • molecular clusters
  • two-dimensional materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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