Rice's new atom-flat compounds show promise for optoelectronics, advanced computing
A Rice University lab wants its products to look sharp, even at the nanoscale. Its latest creation is right on target.
Adjacent crystal structures of rhenium diselenide (top) and molybdenum diselenide form a 2D transition metal dichalcogenide heterostructure with sharply separated domains. The unique material created at Rice University shows promise for optoelectronic applications.
Credit: Center for Nanophase Materials Science/Ajayan Research Group
An illustration shows several arrangements of rhenium diselenide and molybdenum diselenide, which form a razor-sharp junction where they meet in a new transition metal dichalcogenide created at Rice University. The material is scalable and its band gap tunable for optoelectronics.
Credit: Ajayan Research Group/Rice University
The Rice lab of materials scientist Pulickel Ajayan has created unique two-dimensional flakes with two distinct personalities: molybdenum diselenide on one side of a sharp divide with rhenium diselenide on the other.
From all appearances, the two-toned material likes it that way, growing naturally -- though under tight conditions -- in a chemical vapor deposition furnace.
The material is a 2D transition metal dichalcogenide heterostructure, a crystal with more than one chemical component. That's not unusual in itself, but the sharp zigzag boundary between elements in the material reported in the American Chemical Society journal Nano Letters is unique.
Dichalcogenides are semiconductors that incorporate transition metals and chalcogens. They're a promising component for optoelectronic applications like solar cells, photodetectors and sensing devices. Lead author Amey Apte, a Rice graduate student, said they may also be suitable materials for quantum computing or neuromorphic computing, which emulates the structure of the human brain.
Apte said well-known, atomically flat molybdenum-tungsten dichalcogenide heterostructures can be more alloy-like, with diffuse boundaries between their crystal domains. However, the new material -- technically, 2H MoSe2-1T' ReSe2 -- has atomically sharp interfaces that gives it a smaller electronic band gap than other dichalcogenides.
"Instead of having one unique band gap based on the composition of an alloy, we can tune the band gap in this material in a very controllable way," Apte said. "The strong dissimilarity between two adjacent atomically thin domains opens up new avenues." He said the range of voltages likely spans from 1.5 to 2.5 electron volts.
Growing the materials reliably involved the creation of a phase diagram that laid out how each parameter -- the balance of chemical gas precursor, the temperature and the time -- affects the process. Rice graduate student and co-author Sandhya Susarla said the diagram serves as a road map for manufacturers.
"The biggest issue in these 2D materials has been that they're not very reproducible," she said. "They're very sensitive to a lot of parameters, because the process is kinetically controlled.
"But our process is scalable because it's thermodynamically controlled," Susarla said. "Manufacturers don't have a lot of parameters to look at. They just have to look at the phase diagram, control the composition and they will get the product every time."
The researchers think they can gain further control of the material's form by tailoring the substrate for epitaxial growth. Having the atoms fall into place in accordance with the surface's own atomic arrangement would allow for far more customization.
Co-authors of the paper are Rice graduate student Lucas Sassi; former postdoctoral researcher Jongwon Yoon, now a senior researcher at the Korea Basic Science Institute; Palash Bharadwaj, the Texas Instruments Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering; alumnus Chandra Sekhar Tiwary, now an assistant professor at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur; and James Tour, the T.T. and W.F. Chao Chair in Chemistry, a professor of computer science and of materials science and nanoengineering; Aravind Krishnamoorthy, Rajiv Kalia, Aiichiro Nakano and Priya Vashishta of the University of Southern California and Jordan Hachtel and Juan Carlos Idrobo of Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Ajayan is chair of Rice's Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering, the Benjamin M. and Mary Greenwood Anderson Professor in Engineering and a professor of chemistry.
The Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research supported the research.
Read the abstract at https:/
This news release can be found online http://news.
Follow Rice News and Media Relations on Twitter @RiceUNews.
IMAGES FOR DOWNLOAD:
Adjacent crystal structures of rhenium diselenide (top) and molybdenum diselenide form a 2D transition metal dichalcogenide heterostructure with sharply separated domains. The unique material created at Rice University shows promise for optoelectronic applications. (Credit: Center for Nanophase Materials Science/Ajayan Research Group)
An illustration shows several arrangements of rhenium diselenide and molybdenum diselenide, which form a razor-sharp junction where they meet in a new transition metal dichalcogenide created at Rice University. The material is scalable and its band gap tunable for optoelectronics. (Credit: Ajayan Research Group/Rice University) 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 3,962 undergraduates and 3,027 graduate students, Rice's undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction and No. 4 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger's Personal Finance.
Mike Williams | EurekAlert!
New 3D interconnection technology for future wearable bioelectronics
15.08.2019 | Institute for Basic Science
Rewriting the periodic table at high pressure
15.08.2019 | Chalmers University of Technology
Soft robots have a distinct advantage over their rigid forebears: they can adapt to complex environments, handle fragile objects and interact safely with humans. Made from silicone, rubber or other stretchable polymers, they are ideal for use in rehabilitation exoskeletons and robotic clothing. Soft bio-inspired robots could one day be deployed to explore remote or dangerous environments.
Most soft robots are actuated by rigid, noisy pumps that push fluids into the machines' moving parts. Because they are connected to these bulky pumps by tubes,...
Researchers at TU Graz are working together with European partners on new possibilities of measuring vehicle emissions.
Today, air pollution is one of the biggest challenges facing European cities. As part of the Horizon 2020 research project CARES (City Air Remote Emission...
Over the next three years, researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, University of Cambridge, École Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles de la ville de Paris (ESPCI-Paris) and Empa will be working together with the Dutch Polymer manufacturer SupraPolix on the next generation of robots: (soft) robots that ‘feel pain’ and heal themselves. The partners can count on 3 million Euro in support from the European Commission.
Soon robots will not only be found in factories and laboratories, but will be assisting us in our immediate environment. They will help us in the household, to...
Scientists at the University of Leeds have created a new form of gold which is just two atoms thick - the thinnest unsupported gold ever created.
The researchers measured the thickness of the gold to be 0.47 nanometres - that is one million times thinner than a human finger nail. The material is regarded...
An international team of scientists involving the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has unraveled the light-induced electron-localization dynamics in transition metals at the attosecond timescale. The team investigated for the first time the many-body electron dynamics in transition metals before thermalization sets in. Their work has now appeared in Nature Physics.
The researchers from ETH Zurich (Switzerland), the MPSD (Germany), the Center for Computational Sciences of University of Tsukuba (Japan) and the Center for...
16.08.2019 | Event News
14.08.2019 | Event News
12.08.2019 | Event News
16.08.2019 | Life Sciences
16.08.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
16.08.2019 | Medical Engineering