Researchers from Rice University have discovered a way to manipulate 2D materials to design in defects that improve the materials’ properties.
The Rice lab of Theoretical Physicist Boris Yakobson and colleagues at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are merging theory and experimentation to demonstrate it is possible to give 2D materials particular defects, especially atomic-scale seams known as grain boundaries. These boundaries may be used to improve the materials’ electronic, optical, mechanical, magnetic and catalytic properties.
The idea is to introduce a curvature to the landscape that coerces the way defects propagate. The Researchers refer to this as “tilt grain boundary topology,” and they accomplish it by growing their materials on a topographically curved substrate — in this case, a cone. The angle of the cone dictates what type and where the boundaries appear.
The research paper has been published in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano.
Grain boundaries are the borders that form in a material where edges meet in a mismatch. These boundaries are a series of defects; for instance, when two sheets of hexagonal graphene meet at an angle, the carbon atoms make up for it by forming non-hexagonal (five or seven member) rings.
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Source: AZO NANO