Scanning tunneling microscopy study and nanomanipulation of graphene-coated water on mica

Nano Lett. 2012 Jun 13;12(6):2665-72. doi: 10.1021/nl202613t. Epub 2012 May 31.


We study interfacial water trapped between a sheet of graphene and a muscovite (mica) surface using Raman spectroscopy and ultrahigh vacuum scanning tunneling microscopy (UHV-STM) at room temperature. We are able to image the graphene-water interface with atomic resolution, revealing a layered network of water trapped underneath the graphene. We identify water layer numbers with a carbon nanotube height reference. Under normal scanning conditions, the water structures remain stable. However, at greater electron energies, we are able to locally manipulate the water using the STM tip.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adsorption
  • Aluminum Silicates / chemistry*
  • Graphite / chemistry*
  • Macromolecular Substances / chemistry
  • Materials Testing
  • Micromanipulation / methods*
  • Microscopy, Scanning Tunneling / methods*
  • Molecular Conformation
  • Particle Size
  • Surface Properties
  • Water / chemistry*


  • Aluminum Silicates
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Water
  • Graphite
  • mica