Nanoscale measurements of unoccupied band dispersion in few-layer graphene
The properties of any material are fundamentally determined by its electronic band structure. Each band represents a series of allowed states inside a material, relating electron energy and momentum. The occupied bands, that is, the filled electron states below the Fermi level, can be routinely measured. However, it is remarkably difficult to characterize the empty part of the band structure experimentally. Here, we present direct measurements of unoccupied bands of monolayer, bilayer and trilayer graphene. To obtain these, we introduce a technique based on low-energy electron microscopy. It relies on the dependence of the electron reflectivity on incidence angle and energy and has a spatial resolution ∼10 nm. The method can be easily applied to other nanomaterials such as van der Waals structures that are available in small crystals only.