Materials scientists at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, have devised a novel and easy technique to make thin, crystal-like materials for electronic devices. The technique could supplement todays tedious and exacting method of growing crystals with an additional benefit of producing materials in sizes and shapes not now possible.
In a recent issue of the American Chemical Society journal Langmuir, Rutgers scientists and collaborators from Ceramare Corporation and the University of California, Berkeley, report on a method where they coax thousands of microscopic grains of individual crystals to assemble into tightly packed layers. The resulting orderly array of particles mimics the performance of traditionally fabricated crystalline wafers, without the time and expense of growing crystals in a molten mixture or solution, then slicing them into thin layers.
"The materials weve created in our lab bridge the gap between single-crystal materials, with their precisely ordered atomic structures, and ceramics, which have randomly oriented structures," said Richard Riman, professor of ceramic and materials engineering. "These so-called single-crystal-like materials possess properties approaching those of true single crystal materials, but since we make them with techniques drawn from ceramic fabrication, there is potential to synthesize them economically and in large size and quantity."
Carl Blesch | EurekAlert!
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