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Experimental and theoretical determination of van der Waals

forces between and within twodimensional materials

Duration: 24 months

Starting date: 01/08/2021

End date: 31/07/2023

Van der Waals (vdW) forces play a crucial role in matter, for example, they drive the formation of two-dimensional multilayered functional devices with novel electronic, magnetic, and optical properties. Noncovalent vdW forces are well understood when interactions involve small molecules or macroscopic bodies. The situation is much less obvious when at least one of the interacting objects has nanoscale size. In this project, we developed a novel force microscopy setup which allowed a direct experimental confirmation of strongly nonadditive van der Waals forces from graphenic nanostacks (and other 2D materials). Surprisingly, we observed nonadditivity of van der Waals interactions with a macroscopic tip at macroscopic (> 1 micrometer) separations from a nanostructured surface. This sets a new record in terms of force measurements and clearly demonstrates the importance of quantum-size effects in macroscopic systems.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 898253.


Funded group members:

Gordiichuk Pavlo                           post-doc

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