• Heyl, M.; List-Kratochvil, E.J.W.: Only gold can pull this off: mechanical exfoliations of transition metal dichalcogenides beyond scotch tape. Applied Physics A 129 (2023), p. 16/1-17

Open Access Version

Following in graphene’s wake, the scotch tape method became the key enabler for the preparation of 2D materials, providing easy access to high-quality materials mainly limited by low yield. At this time, transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDC) received tremendous attention as a promising class of two-dimensional (2D) semiconductors. The motivation to reach the 2D limit of TMDCs and many other layered materials has long been set, and with the rise of gold-mediated exfoliations towards the millimeter scale, the stacking of these 2D single-layer building blocks into artificial 3D lattices is more relevant than ever. On this note, this review presents the recent developments in gold-mediated exfoliations beyond scotch tape, accompanied by a methods walkthrough for such a process. These matured gold exfoliations unlock a whole palette of 2D building blocks, ready for the assembly of macroscopic van der Waals heterostructures, or twistronics. Ultimately, mechanical exfoliation as a key enabler for high-quality single layers, evolved from scotch tape to gold, and became an even more potent tool in the process.