Nanomaterials could be the basis for many emerging technologies, including extremely tiny, flexible and transparent electronics.
While many nanomaterials have promising electronic properties, scientists and engineers are still working to optimally integrate these materials to ultimately create semiconductors and circuits with them.
Researchers from Northwestern Engineering have fabricated two-dimensional (2-D) heterostructures Two of these materials, graphene and borophene, are an important step in creating integrated circuits of these nanomaterials.
"If you were to break an integrated circuit in a smartphone, you would integrate many different materials into one another." Mark Hersam, Walter P. Murphy Professor of Materials Science and Engineering who led the research. "However, we have reached the limits of many of these traditional materials, and the integration of nanomaterials such as borophen and graphene opens up new possibilities in nanoelectronics."
Sponsored by the Office for Naval Research and the National Science Foundation The findings were published on October 11 in the journal Science Advances . Beside Hersam attained a doctorate in applied physics. The student Xiaolong Liu is co-author of this work.
Creating a New Kind of Heterostructure
Each integrated circuit contains many materials that perform different functions, e.g. As the conduction of electricity or the isolation of components. Although the transistors in circuits are becoming smaller and smaller as material and manufacturing progress, they are reaching their limits.
Ultrathin 2D materials such as graphene may work around this problem However, integrating 2-D materials is difficult. These materials are only an atom thick. If the atoms of the two materials do not match perfectly, successful integration is unlikely. Unfortunately, most 2D materials do not match at the atomic level, which is a challenge for 2D integrated circuits.
Borophen, the 2D version of boron that Hersam and co-workers first synthesized in 2015, is polymorphic, it can adopt many different structures and adapt to its environment. This makes it an ideal candidate for combining with other 2-D materials such as graphene.
To test whether it is possible to integrate the two materials into a single heterostructure, Hersam's lab allowed both graphene and borophen to grow on the same substrate. They first grew the graphene because it grows at a higher temperature, then they deposited boron on the same substrate and allowed it to grow in regions where there was no graphene. This process resulted in lateral interfaces where the two materials were sutured together on the atomic scale due to Borophen adaptability.
Measurement of electronic transitions
The laboratory characterized the 2-D heterostructure with a single scan The tunneling microscope found that the electronic interface across the interface was exceptionally abrupt – meaning it was ideal for could be the creation of tiny electronic devices.
"These results suggest that we can create ultra-high density devices on the road," Hersam said. Ultimately, Hersam hopes for increasingly complex 2D structures that lead to novel electronic components and circuits. He and his team are working with Borophen to create additional heterostructures and combine them with an increasing number of hundreds of known 2D materials.
"Over the last 20 years, new materials have allowed for miniaturization and correspondingly improved transistor performance," he said. "Two-dimensional materials have the potential to make the next jump."
Serendipity reveals the potential of Borophen
"Borophen Graphene Heterostructures" Science Advances (2019). DOI: 10.1126 / sciadv.aax6444, https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/10/eaax6444
New research integrates borophen and graphene in 2D heterostructures (2019, 11 October)
retrieved on October 12, 2019
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