Randall Feenstra

Department of Physics, Carnegie Mellon University
Ph.D., California Institute of Technology

The research activities of my group deal with structural and electronic properties of semiconductor materials and devices. A major tool used in the studies is the scanning tunneling microscope, which allows one to image the atomic structure of a surface and to perform spectroscopic measurements of the electronic energy levels. Many of the studies deal with semiconductor heterostructures consisting of multiple layers of different types of material, with the goal of understanding how the structure of the device (including imperfections and defects) determines its electronic properties. Growth of semiconductor heterostructures has been performed in my laboratory using molecular beam epitaxy, for GaN in particular (a semiconductor with a relatively large band gap, used for blue light-emitting devices and for microwave transistor applications).

Most recently we have focused on the study of two-dimensional (2D) materials, including graphene and hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN). We prepare these materials by growth at high temperatures, and we characterize them using both scanning tunneling microscopy and low-energy electron microscopy. The latter permits both diffraction and imaging of the surfaces, with nm-scale resolution. Additionally, spectroscopic observation of energy levels above the vacuum level is performed, which is particularly useful for these 2D materials. Heterostructures consisting of alternating layers of graphene and h-BN are being studied, because of the unique current-voltage characteristic for tunneling in such structures.


Vineetha Bheemarasetty

Undergraduate Student

6408 Wean Hall, Pittsburgh PA, 65109


Carnegie Mellon University

Jun Li

Graduate Student

5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh PA, 15213


Carnegie Mellon University


Two-dimensional materials, growth, simulation, and characterization


Dacen Waters

Graduate Student

6408 Wean Hall, Pittsburgh PA, 15213


Carnegie Mellon University
Most Cited Publications
  1. "Tunneling spectroscopy of the Si(111)2 × 1 surface," R.M. Feenstra, Joseph A. Stroscio, A.P. Fein, Surface Science 181, 295 (1987)
  2. "Atom-selective imaging of the GaAs(110) surface," R. M. Feenstra, Joseph A. Stroscio, J. Tersoff, and A. P. Fein, Phys. Rev. Lett. 58, 1192 (1987)
  3. "Electronic Structure of the Si(111)2 × 1 Surface by Scanning-Tunneling Microscopy," Joseph A. Stroscio, R. M. Feenstra, and A. P. Fein, Phys. Rev. Lett. 57, 2579 (1986)
  4. "Tunneling spectroscopy of the GaAs(110) surface," R. M. Feenstra and Joseph A. Stroscio, J. Vac. Sci. Technol. B 5, 923 (1987)
  5. "Tunneling spectroscopy of the (110) surface of direct-gap III-V semiconductors," R. M. Feenstra, Phys. Rev. B 50, 4561 (1994)
Recent Publications
  1. "Substitutional mechanism for growth of hexagonal boron nitride on epitaxial graphene," Mende, Patrick C., Jun Li, and Randall M. Feenstra. Applied Physics Letters 113.3 (2018): 031605.
  2. "Quantum-Confined Electronic States Arising from the MoiréPattern of MoS2−WSe2 Heterobilayers," Yi Pan, Stefan Fölsch, Yifan Nie, Dacen Waters, Yu-Chuan Lin, Bhakti Jariwala, Kehao Zhang, Kyeongjae Cho, Joshua A. Robinson, and Randall M. Feenstra, Nano Lett. (2018)
  3. "One dimensional metallic edges in atomically thin WSe<sub>2</sub> induced by air exposure", Rafik Addou, Christopher M Smyth, Ji-Young Noh, Yu-Chuan Lin, Yi Pan, Sarah Eichfeld, Stefan Fölsch, Joshua A Robinson, Kyeongjae Cho, Randall M Feenstra and Robert M Wallace, 2DM-102545.R1(2018)
  4. "Magnitude of the current in 2D interlayer tunneling devices," Randall M Feenstra, Sergio C de la Barrera, Jun Li, Yifan Nie and Kyeongjae Cho, J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 30 055703 (2018)
  5. "Realizing Large-Scale, Electronic-Grade Two-Dimensional Semiconductors," Yu-Chuan Lin, Bhakti Jariwala, Brian M. Bersch, Ke Xu, Yifan Nie, Baoming Wang, Sarah M. Eichfeld, Xiaotian Zhang, Tanushree H. Choudhury, Yi Pan, Rafik Addou, Christopher M. Smyth, Jun Li, Kehao Zhang, M. Aman Haque, Stefan Fölsch, Randall M. Feenstra, Robert M. Wallace, Kyeongjae Cho, Susan K. Fullerton-Shirey, Joan M. Redwing, and Joshua A. RobinsonACS Nano January 23, 2018
  6. "Large Scale 2D/3D Hybrids based on Gallium Nitride and Transition Metal Dichalcogenides," Kehao Zhang, Bhakti Jariwala, Jun Li,  Natalie Christine Briggs, Baoming Wang, Dmitry Ruzmetov, Robert A Burke,  Jordan O. Lerach, Tony G Ivanov, Aman Haque, Randall M. Feenstra and J. Robinson,  Nanoscale (2017)

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