A study’s breakthrough eyes high electronic performance and low power consumption to make high quality 2D materials possible

April 29, 2023 | Metallurgical Lab

In yet another feat in power science, a multi-institutional study led by Professor Sang Hoon Bae from Washington University in St. Luis determined 2 technical breakthroughs in electronic performance and consumption.

In the study he worked alongside his doctoral student Justin S. Kim and postdoctoral research associate Yuan Meng was able to:

  1. First report a method that grows semiconductor materials called “transition metal dichalcogenides (TMD)” to create faster devices with less power usage.

  2. Demonstrated single-domain heterojunction TMDs at the wafer scale, or a large scale, by layer-by-layer growth.

The material has been developed with their co-leads in the study, Jeehwan Kim from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Jin-Hong Park from Sungkyunkwan University who has shared their success in overcoming three challenges in creating the material:

  • securing single crystallinity at wafer-scale

  • preventing irregular thickness during growth at wafer-scale

  • vertical heterostructures at wafer-scale.

Bae said 3D materials go through a process of roughening and smoothing to become an even-surfaced material. However, 2D materials don't allow this process, resulting in an uneven surface that makes it difficult to have a large-scale, high-quality, uniform 2D material.

"We designed a geometric-confined structure that facilitates kinetic control of 2D materials so that all grand challenges in high-quality 2D material growth are resolved," Bae said. "Thanks to the facilitated kinetic control, we only needed to grow self-defined seeding for a shorter growing time."

Their second breaking was done via confining the growth of the nuclei using various substrates made from chemical compounds. Such formed a physical barrier that prevented lateral-epitaxy formation and forced vertical growth.

"We believe that our confined growth technique can bring all the great findings in physics of 2D materials to the level of commercialization by allowing the construction of single domain layer-by-layer heterojunctions at the wafer-scale," Bae said.

The study is expected to translate into a new technique in material science to produce powerful 2D structures which may be used in industrial settings.

"We scaled up because we can solve the issue by producing the high-quality material at a large scale," Bae said. "Our achievement will lay a strong foundation for 2D materials to fit into industrial settings."

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