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Phys Rev Lett. 2012 Nov 9;109(19):196802. Epub 2012 Nov 8.

Unraveling the intrinsic and robust nature of van Hove singularities in twisted bilayer graphene by scanning tunneling microscopy and theoretical analysis.

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Departamento Física de la Materia Condensada, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, E-28049 Madrid, Spain.


Extensive scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy experiments complemented by first-principles and parametrized tight binding calculations provide a clear answer to the existence, origin, and robustness of van Hove singularities (vHs) in twisted graphene layers. Our results are conclusive: vHs due to interlayer coupling are ubiquitously present in a broad range (from 1° to 10°) of rotation angles in our graphene on 6H-SiC(000-1) samples. From the variation of the energy separation of the vHs with the rotation angle we are able to recover the Fermi velocity of a graphene monolayer as well as the strength of the interlayer interaction. The robustness of the vHs is assessed both by experiments, which show that they survive in the presence of a third graphene layer, and by calculations, which test the role of the periodic modulation and absolute value of the interlayer distance. Finally, we clarify the role of the layer topographic corrugation and of electronic effects in the apparent moiré contrast measured on the STM images.

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