Landscapes Give Latitude to 2-D Material Designers

Growing atom-thin sheets on cones allows control of defects enhancing the materials’ useful properties.

Two-dimensional materials grown onto a cone allow control over where defects called grain boundaries appear.

October 9, 2017 | Source: Rice University, news.rice.edu, 9 Aug 2017, Mike Williams

Rice University researchers have learned to manipulate two-dimensional materials to design in defects that enhance the materials’ properties.

The Rice lab of theoretical physicist Boris Yakobson and colleagues at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are combining theory and experimentation to prove it’s possible to give 2-D materials specific defects, especially atomic-scale seams called grain boundaries. These boundaries may be used to enhance the materials’ electronic, magnetic, mechanical, catalytic and optical properties.