2D materials devices: Challenges in device fabrication

Semiconducting 2D materials such as transition metal dichalcogenides are beginning to generate a lot of interest as a candidate for ultra thin body electronics and optoelectronics. There have been significant advances in the last 2 to 3 years and a shift from papers reporting fundamental properties of these materials towards proof of concept devices and high quality, larger scale synthesis. In technology speak one could say the field has graduated into a Technology Readiness Level of 3-4 where scientists all over the world are conducting research to understand feasibility of using these materials in electronics and optoelectronic components.  Read more

Nature Materials: Focus on 2D materials beyond graphene

One of the many things that were revealed with the isolation of graphene, was the pursuit of atomically thin forms of other materials: semiconductors, boron nitride and, more recently, Xenes, are offering endless possibilities not only to explore fundamental physics, but also to demonstrate improved or even entirely novel applications.  Read more

Graphene commercialization: a voice from industry

The commercialization of graphene-based products is a recurring theme in this blog. Why after much talking about graphene being a wonder material the most high-tech graphene-based product we can buy is still a tennis racket? Nature Reviews Materials asked this question to Seongjun Park, an engineer working in Samsung and studying graphene. In a Comment piece, he reminded the readers that the commercialization of new materials and technologies always takes time, often decades — optical memory devices and phase-change memories are good examples, as it took more than 30 years to take them to the market. Compared to them, graphene is still a young technology: it is only 12 years that scientists and engineers are playing with it and tweaking its properties.  Read more

Celebrating Nature Nanotechnology

Nature Nanotechnology has recently turned 10. To celebrate this milestone, a number of experts from different areas of nanotechnology have been invited to describe how the field has evolved in the last ten years. The ever growing demand for improved functionalities and nanoscale miniaturisation of electronic devices, in addition to the approaching limits of current silicon-based technology, has driven the quest for materials enabling alternative technological solutions. In this context, two-dimensional materials have significantly shaped the nanotechnology landscape over this decade. In the feature entitled “Nano on reflection”, Dr Silvia Milana, Associate editor at Nature Communications, outlines the development of two-dimensional materials, highlighting both promising achievements and associated challenges.  Read more

2D goes 3D

2D goes 3D

If you are reading this blog, you probably already think that 2D materials are awesome. However, stacks combining several 2D materials could be even better — they open almost endless possibilities for new properties and devices, as they draw from a wide library of 2D materials with different electronic properties, ranging from insulating to metallic, conductive and superconductive, which can be mixed and matched to create hybrid structures with unique functionalities. Xiangfeng Duan and colleagues bring us on an inspiring journey to discover van der Waals heterostructures in a newly published Review in Nature Reviews Materials. Flexible and transparent electronic and optoelectronic devices based on van der Waals stacks have already been demonstrated, including tunneling transistors, vertical field-effect transistors, wearable electronics and innovative solar cells.  Read more

Graphene Week 2016, Warsaw

The third week of June found many academics and industry representatives in Poland for the annual Graphene Week conference. Editors from various Nature journals were also there, to hear some excellent talks on the most recent developments with graphene and 2D materials, roam around the poster sessions and appreciate (for a little bit) the beauty of Warsaw.  Read more

Into the fold

Into the fold

Graphene boasts a number of exceptional properties, but arguably its best feature may be its form as a strong and flexible sheet of material. After all, the ancient art of origami teaches us that an infinite range of shapes can be created by folding up paper-like sheets like graphene. 3D is the new 2D: folding techniques may be employed for bottom-up fabrication of intricate 3D nanostructures or for assembling flat-packed devices that can unfold where or when needed.  Read more