Crystallographic orientation errors in mechanical exfoliation

Y. Kolumbus, A. Zalic, N. Fardian-Melamed, Z. Barkay, D. Rotem, D. Porath, H. Steinberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We evaluate the effect of mechanical exfoliation of van der Waals materials on crystallographic orientations of the resulting flakes. Flakes originating from a single crystal of graphite, whose orientation is confirmed using STM, are studied using facet orientations and electron back-scatter diffraction (EBSD). While facets exhibit a wide distribution of angles after a single round of exfoliation (δ ∼ 5°), EBSD shows that the true crystallographic orientations are more narrowly distributed (δ ∼ 1.5°), and facets have an approximately 3- error from the true orientation. Furthermore, we find that the majority of graphite fractures are along armchair lines, and that the cleavage process results in an increase of the zigzag lines portion. Our results place values on the rotation caused by a single round of the exfoliation process, and suggest that when a 12 degree precision is necessary, the orientation of a flake can be gauged by the orientation of the macroscopic single crystal from which it was exfoliated.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number475704
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Issue number47
StatePublished - 5 Nov 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 IOP Publishing Ltd.


  • exfoliation
  • grapheme
  • orientation
  • van der Waals devices


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