Researchers from Singapore's National University of Singapore (NUS) and Japan's National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) have formulated 'golden rules' for controlling the alignment of supermoiré lattices.
Moiré patterns are formed when two identical periodic structures are overlaid with a relative twist angle between them or two different periodic structures but overlaid with or without twist angle. The twist angle is the angle between the crystallographic orientations of the two structures. For example, when graphene and hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) which are layered materials are overlaid on each other, the atoms in the two structures do not line up perfectly, creating a pattern of interference fringes, called a moiré pattern. This results in an electronic reconstruction. The moiré pattern in graphene and hBN has been used to create new structures with exotic properties, such as topological currents and Hofstadter butterfly states. When two moiré patterns are stacked together, a new structure called supermoiré lattice is created. Compared with the traditional single moiré materials, this supermoiré lattice expands the range of tunable material properties allowing for potential use in a much larger variety of applications.