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Super-resolution imaging of nanoscale inhomogeneities in hBN-covered and encapsulated few-layer graphene

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posted on 2024-07-10, 16:00 authored by Lina Jäckering, Konstantin G. Wirth, Lukas Conrads, Jonas B. Profe, Alexander Rothstein, Hristiyana Kyoseva, Kenji Watanabe, Takashi Taniguchi, Dante M. Kennes, Christoph Stampfer, Lutz Waldecker, Thomas Taubner
Encapsulating few-layer graphene (FLG) in hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) can cause nanoscale inhomogeneities in the FLG, including changes in stacking domains and topographic defects. Due to the diffraction limit, characterizing these inhomogeneities is challenging. Recently, the visualization of stacking domains in encapsulated four-layer graphene (4LG) has been demonstrated with phonon polariton (PhP)-assisted near-field imaging. However, the underlying coupling mechanism and ability to image subdiffractional-sized inhomogeneities remain unknown. Here, we retrieve direct replicas and magnified images of subdiffractional-sized inhomogeneities in hBN-covered trilayer graphene (TLG) and encapsulated 4LG, enabled by the hyperlensing effect. This hyperlensing effect is mediated by hBN's hyperbolic PhP that couple to the FLG's plasmon polaritons. Using near-field microscopy, we identify the coupling by determining the polariton dispersion in hBN-covered TLG to be stacking-dependent. Our work demonstrates super-resolution and magnified imaging of inhomogeneities, paving the way for the realization of homogeneous encapsulated FLG transport samples to study correlated physics.

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