Date of this Version
(2020)11:2453 | https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-16266-w | www.nature.com/naturecommunications
Two-dimensional materials provide extraordinary opportunities for exploring phenomena arising in atomically thin crystals. Beginning with the first isolation of graphene, mechanical exfoliation has been a key to provide high-quality two-dimensional materials, but despite improvements it is still limited in yield, lateral size and contamination. Here we introduce a contamination-free, one-step and universal Au-assisted mechanical exfoliation method and demonstrate its effectiveness by isolating 40 types of single-crystalline monolayers, including elemental two-dimensional crystals, metal-dichalcogenides, magnets and superconductors. Most of them are of millimeter-size and high-quality, as shown by transfer-free measure- ments of electron microscopy, photo spectroscopies and electrical transport. Large sus- pended two-dimensional crystals and heterojunctions were also prepared with high-yield. Enhanced adhesion between the crystals and the substrates enables such efficient exfoliation, for which we identify a gold-assisted exfoliation method that underpins a universal route for producing large-area monolayers and thus supports studies of fundamental properties and potential application of two-dimensional materials.