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 New method inverts the self-assembly of liquid crystals
15.04.2019 | University of Luxembourg

nachricht 'Deep learning' casts wide net for novel 2D materials
11.04.2019 | Rice University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

Im Focus: Largest, fastest array of microscopic 'traffic cops' for optical communications

The technology could revolutionize how information travels through data centers and artificial intelligence networks

Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers...

Im Focus: A long-distance relationship in femtoseconds

Physicists observe how electron-hole pairs drift apart at ultrafast speed, but still remain strongly bound.

Modern electronics relies on ultrafast charge motion on ever shorter length scales. Physicists from Regensburg and Gothenburg have now succeeded in resolving a...

Im Focus: Researchers 3D print metamaterials with novel optical properties

Engineers create novel optical devices, including a moth eye-inspired omnidirectional microwave antenna

A team of engineers at Tufts University has developed a series of 3D printed metamaterials with unique microwave or optical properties that go beyond what is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

Fraunhofer FHR at the IEEE Radar Conference 2019 in Boston, USA

09.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

New automated biological-sample analysis systems to accelerate disease detection

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

18.04.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New eDNA technology used to quickly assess coral reefs

18.04.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>