Scanning Tunneling Microscopy of Atomic Scale Phonon Standing Waves in Quasi-freestanding WSe2 Monolayers

Igor Altfeder, Sarah M. Eichfeld, Rachel D. Naguy, Joshua A. Robinson, Andrey A. Voevodin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) we observed atomic scale interference patterns on quasi-freestanding WSe2 islands grown on top of graphene. The bias-independent double atomic size periodicity of these patterns and the sharp Brillouin zone edge revealed by 2D STM Fourier analysis indicate formation of optical phonon standing waves due to scattering on intercalating defects supporting these islands. Standing wave patterns of both synchronized and non-synchronized optical phonons, corresponding to resonant and non-resonant phonon scattering regimes, were experimentally observed. We also found the symmetry breaking effect for individual phonon wave packets, one of the unique features distinguishing phonon standing waves. We show that vibrational and electronic anharmonicities are responsible for STM detection of these patterns. A significant contribution to the interference contrast arises from quantum zero-point oscillations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1645-1650
Number of pages6
JournalMRS Advances
Issue number22
StatePublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Scanning Tunneling Microscopy of Atomic Scale Phonon Standing Waves in Quasi-freestanding WSe<sup>2</sup> Monolayers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this