Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Serendipity uncovers borophene's potential

23.02.2017

Organic material self-assembles next to borophene with nearly perfect interface


A molecular-resolution image of the borophene-organic material interface, which is ideal for electronic applications.

Credit: Mark C. Hersam

Almost one year ago, borophene didn't even exist.

Now, just months after a Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory team discovered the material, another team led by Mark Hersam is already making strides toward understanding its complicated chemistry and realizing its electronic potential.

Created in December 2015, borophene is a two-dimensional, metallic sheet of boron, the element commonly used in fiberglass. Although borophene holds promise for possible applications ranging from electronics to photovoltaics, these applications cannot be achieved until borophene is integrated with other materials. Now Hersam's team -- and a bit of serendipity -- have successfully accomplished this integration.

"Integrated circuits are at the heart of all of our computers, tablets, and smartphones,'" said Hersam, Walter P. Murphy Professor of Materials Science and Engineering in Northwestern University's McCormick School of Engineering. "Integration is the key element that has driven advances in electronic technology."

Supported by the Office for Naval Research and National Science Foundation, the research appeared online on February 22 in the journal Science Advances. Erik Luijten, professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern University, co-authored the paper. Xiaolong Liu, a student in Northwestern's Applied Physics Graduate Program, is the paper's first author.

Because borophene does not appear in nature, scientists must grow it in the laboratory by synthesizing it on a sheet of silver. Hersam's team deposited an organic material (perylene-3,4,9,10-tetracarboxylic dianhydride) on top of the borophene, in an attempt to integrate the two materials. What happened next was a surprise. The organic material, which is known to self-assemble on essentially any material, instead diffused off the borophene and onto the silver sheet.

The result was a self-assembled monolayer of the organic material directly next to the borophene, forming a nearly perfect interface. Well-controlled interfaces between distinct materials enable integrated devices, including diodes and photovoltaics. Hersam's surprising technique bypassed the typical challenge to creating a sharp interface -- getting materials to touch but not mix.

"This is a nice bit of serendipity because we solved a problem without any additional intervention required," Hersam said. "Borophene did not exist a year ago. Twelve months later, we're already forming essentially perfect interfaces."

Not only does Hersam's finding set the stage to explore electronic applications for borophene, it also illuminates the new material's fundamental properties. The next challenge is to move borophene off silver and onto an inert substrate that does not interfere with its electronic properties.

"Borophene is unique in its ability to form abrupt interfaces via self-assembly," Hersam said. "We're beginning to understand its chemistry, which will guide our efforts to transfer the material onto appropriate substrates for further integration."

Megan Fellman | EurekAlert!

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht The stacked colour sensor
16.11.2017 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

nachricht Counterfeits and product piracy can be prevented by security features, such as printed 3-D microstructures
16.11.2017 | Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>