HOUSTON (June 10, 2013) Scientists at Rice University and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) have advanced on the goal of two-dimensional electronics with a method to control the growth of uniform atomic layers of molybdenum disulfide (MDS).
MDS, a semiconductor, is one of a trilogy of materials needed to make functioning 2-D electronic components. They may someday be the basis for the manufacture of devices so small they would be invisible to the naked eye.
The work appears online this week in Nature Materials.
The Rice labs of lead investigator Jun Lou, Pulickel Ajayan and Boris Yakobson, all professors in the university's Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science Department, collaborated with Wigner Fellow Wu Zhou and staff scientist Juan-Carlos Idrobo at ORNL in an unusual initiative that incorporated experimental and theoretical work.
The goals were to see if large, high-quality, atomically thin MDS sheets could be grown in a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) furnace and to analyze their characteristics. The hope is that MDS could be joined with graphene, which has no band gap, and hexagonal boron nitride (hBN), an insulator, to form field-effect transistors, integrated logic circuits, photodetectors and flexible optoelectronics.
"For truly atomic circuitry, this is important," Lou said. "If we get this material to work, then we will have a set of materials to play with for complete, complicated devices."
Last year, Lou and Ajayan revealed their success at making intricate patterns of intertwining graphene and hBN, among them the image of Rice's owl mascot. But there was still a piece missing for the materials to be full partners in advanced electronic applications. By then, the researchers were already well into their study of MDS as a semiconducting solution.
"Two-dimensional materials have taken off," Ajayan said. "The study of graphene prompted research into a lot of 2-D mater
|Contact: Mike Williams|