World News – US – Creating Perfect Edges in 2D Materials


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October 19, 2020

by Chalmers University of Technology

Ultra-fine materials such as graphene promise a revolution in nanoscience and technology Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, published a study in Nature Communications in which they present a method for controlling edges of two-dimensional materials using a « magic » chemical

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« Our method allows edge control – atom by atom – in a simple and scalable way, using only gentle heating as well as abundant, environmentally friendly chemicals such as peroxide. ‘hydrogen,’ says Battulga Munkhbat, postdoctoral researcher in the physics department at Chalmers University of Technology, and first author of the article

Materials as thin as a single atomic layer are called two-dimensional or 2D materials.The best-known example is graphene, as well as molybdenum disulfide, its semiconductor analogue Future developments in the field could benefit from the study of a particular characteristic inherent in these materials: their edges Controlling edges is a difficult scientific problem, as they are very different from the main body of a 2D material For example, a specific type of edge found in transition metal dichalcogenides (known as TMD, such as the aforementioned molybdenum disulfide), may have both magnetic and catalytic properties.

Typical TMD materials have edges which can exist in two distinct variations, called zigzag or armchair.These alternatives are so different that their physical and chemical properties are not alike at all For example, calculations predict that zigzag edges are metallic and ferromagnetic, while chair edges are semiconductor and non-magnetic Like these remarkable variations in physical properties, one would expect the chemical properties of the zigzag and chair edges to be very different as well. If this is the case, it is possible that certain chemicals will dissolve the edges of the chair, without affecting the zigzag edges.

Now such a magical chemical is exactly what the Chalmers researchers found – in the form of regular hydrogen peroxide At first, the researchers were completely surprised by the new results

« It was not only that one type of edge dominated the others, but also that the resulting edges were extremely sharp – almost atomically sharp This indicates that the ‘magic’ chemical works in a way that is itself. saying self-limiting, removing unwanted material atom by atom, which ultimately results in edges at the atomically sharp boundary The resulting patterns followed the crystallographic orientation of the original TMD material, producing beautiful atomically sharp hexagonal nanostructures, ”says Battulga Munkhbat

The new method, which includes a combination of standard top-down lithographic methods with a new anisotropic wet etching process, therefore allows the creation of perfect edges in two-dimensional materials

« This method opens up unprecedented new possibilities for van der Waals materials (superimposed 2D materials) We can now combine edge physics with 2D physics in one material This is an extremely fascinating development, » says Timur Shegai, Associate Professor in the Department of Physics at Chalmers and Head of the Research Project

These and other materials often gain considerable research attention as they enable crucial advances in nanoscience and technology, with potential applications ranging from quantum electronics to new types. nano-devices These hopes are manifested in the Graphene Flagship, the largest ever research initiative in Europe, coordinated by Chalmers University of Technology

To make the new technology available to research labs and high-tech companies, the researchers founded a start-up that offers high-quality atomically-sharp TMD materials. The researchers also plan to further develop the applications of these atomically net metamaterials

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Two-dimensional materials, chemistry, Chalmers University of Technology, research, physics, nanotechnology, transition metal dichalcogenide monolayers

World news – United States – Creating perfect edges in 2D materials



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