Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Borophene shines alone as 2-D plasmonic material

21.11.2017

Rice University scientists calculate flat boron capable of visible plasmon emissions

An atom-thick film of boron could be the first pure two-dimensional material able to emit visible and near-infrared light by activating its plasmons, according to Rice University scientists.


Rice University scientists calculate that the atom-thick film of boron known as borophene could be the first pure two-dimensional material naturally able to emit visible and near-infrared light by activating its plasmons. The Rice team tested models of three polymorphs and found that triangular borophene, at left, was capable of emitting visible light, while the other two reached near-infrared.

Credit: Sharmila Shirodkar/Rice University

Usage Restrictions: For news reporting purposes only

That would make the material known as borophene a candidate for plasmonic and photonic devices like biomolecule sensors, waveguides, nanoscale light harvesters and nanoantennas.

Plasmons are collective excitations of electrons that flow across the surface of metals when triggered by an input of energy, like laser light. Significantly, delivering light to a plasmonic material in one color (determined by the light's frequency) can prompt the emission of light in another color.

Models by Rice theoretical physicist Boris Yakobson and his colleagues predict that borophene would be the first known 2-D material to do so naturally, without modification.

The lab's simulations are detailed in a paper by Yakobson with lead authors Yuefei Huang, a graduate student, and Sharmila Shirodkar, a postdoctoral researcher, in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Boron is a semiconductor in three dimensions but a metal in 2-D form. That prompted the lab to have a look at its potential for plasmonic manipulation.

"This was kind of anticipated, but we had to do careful work to prove and quantify it," said Yakobson, whose lab often predicts possible materials that experimentalists later make, like borophene or the boron buckyball. With colleagues Evgeni Penev, an assistant research professor at Rice, and alumnus Zhuhua Zhang, he recently published an extensive review of the state of boron research.

In the new study, the researchers used a computational modeling technique called density functional theory to test plasmonic behavior in three types of free-standing borophene. The material's baseline crystal structure is a grid of triangles -- think graphene but with an extra atom in the middle of each hexagon.

The lab studied models of plain borophene and two polymorphs, solids that incorporate more than one crystalline structure that are formed when some of those middle atoms are removed. Their calculations showed triangular borophene had the widest emission frequencies, including visible light, while the other two reached near-infrared.

"We don't have enough experimental data to determine which mechanisms contribute how much to the losses in these polymorphs, but we anticipate and include scattering of plasmons against defects and excitation of electrons and holes that lead to their damping," Shirodkar said.

The researchers said their results present the interesting possibility of manipulating data at subdiffraction wavelengths.

"If you have an optical signal with a wavelength that's larger than an electronic circuit of a few nanometers, there's a mismatch," she said. "Now we can use the signal to excite plasmons in the material that pack the same information (carried by the light) into a much smaller space. It gives us a way to squeeze the signal so that it can go into the electronic circuit."

"It turns out that's important because, roughly speaking, it can improve the resolution by 100 times, in some cases," Yakobson said. "Resolution is limited by wavelength. By using plasmons, you can store information or write into a material at a much higher resolution because of the shrinkage of the wavelength. This could have great benefits for data storage."

Experimentalists have made borophene only in very small amounts so far and lack methods to transfer the material from the surfaces on which its grown, Yakobson said. Still, there's plenty for theoretical scientists to study and plenty of progress in the labs.

"One should explore other polymorphs and look for the best one," Yakobson suggested. "Here, we didn't. We just considered three, because it's pretty heavy work -- but others need to be screened before we know what is achievable."

The Army Research Office and the Robert Welch Foundation supported the research. Computational resources were supplied by Rice's National Science Foundation-supported DAVinCI supercomputer administered by Rice's Center for Research Computing and procured in partnership with Rice's Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology.

###

Yakobson is the Karl F. Hasselmann Professor of Materials Science and NanoEngineering and a professor of chemistry.

Read the abstract at http://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/jacs.7b10329

Two-dimensional boron: structures, properties and applications: http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2017/cs/c7cs00261k

This news release can be found online at http://news.rice.edu/2017/11/20/borophene-shines-alone-as-2-d-plasmonic-material/

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews

Related materials:

For 2-D boron, it's all about that base: http://news.rice.edu/2015/09/02/for-2-d-boron-its-all-about-that-base-2/

Flat boron is a superconductor: http://news.rice.edu/2016/03/30/flat-boron-is-a-superconductor-2/

Yakobson Research Group: http://biygroup.blogs.rice.edu

Long may you wave, borophene: http://news.rice.edu/2016/10/04/long-may-you-wave-borophene-2/

Rice Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering: https://msne.rice.edu

Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation's top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,879 undergraduates and 2,861 graduate students, Rice's undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for quality of life and for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for happiest students by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger's Personal Finance. To read "What they're saying about Rice," go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview.

Media Contact

David Ruth
david@rice.edu
713-348-6327

 @RiceUNews

http://news.rice.edu 

David Ruth | EurekAlert!

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht A robot and software make it easier to create advanced materials
05.12.2019 | Rutgers University

nachricht First field measurements of laughing gas isotopes
05.12.2019 | Empa - Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Developing a digital twin

University of Texas and MIT researchers create virtual UAVs that can predict vehicle health, enable autonomous decision-making

In the not too distant future, we can expect to see our skies filled with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) delivering packages, maybe even people, from location...

Im Focus: The coldest reaction

With ultracold chemistry, researchers get a first look at exactly what happens during a chemical reaction

The coldest chemical reaction in the known universe took place in what appears to be a chaotic mess of lasers. The appearance deceives: Deep within that...

Im Focus: How do scars form? Fascia function as a repository of mobile scar tissue

Abnormal scarring is a serious threat resulting in non-healing chronic wounds or fibrosis. Scars form when fibroblasts, a type of cell of connective tissue, reach wounded skin and deposit plugs of extracellular matrix. Until today, the question about the exact anatomical origin of these fibroblasts has not been answered. In order to find potential ways of influencing the scarring process, the team of Dr. Yuval Rinkevich, Group Leader for Regenerative Biology at the Institute of Lung Biology and Disease at Helmholtz Zentrum München, aimed to finally find an answer. As it was already known that all scars derive from a fibroblast lineage expressing the Engrailed-1 gene - a lineage not only present in skin, but also in fascia - the researchers intentionally tried to understand whether or not fascia might be the origin of fibroblasts.

Fibroblasts kit - ready to heal wounds

Im Focus: McMaster researcher warns plastic pollution in Great Lakes growing concern to ecosystem

Research from a leading international expert on the health of the Great Lakes suggests that the growing intensity and scale of pollution from plastics poses serious risks to human health and will continue to have profound consequences on the ecosystem.

In an article published this month in the Journal of Waste Resources and Recycling, Gail Krantzberg, a professor in the Booth School of Engineering Practice...

Im Focus: Machine learning microscope adapts lighting to improve diagnosis

Prototype microscope teaches itself the best illumination settings for diagnosing malaria

Engineers at Duke University have developed a microscope that adapts its lighting angles, colors and patterns while teaching itself the optimal...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

The Future of Work

03.12.2019 | Event News

First International Conference on Agrophotovoltaics in August 2020

15.11.2019 | Event News

Laser Symposium on Electromobility in Aachen: trends for the mobility revolution

15.11.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Developing a digital twin

06.12.2019 | Information Technology

A solution for cleaning up PFAS, one of the world's most intractable pollutants

06.12.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering

How flowers adapt to their pollinators

06.12.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>