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Making New Materials an Atomic Layer at a Time

Posted on: 04/24/2014
Researchers at the Pennsylvania State University’s Center for Two-Dimensional and Layered Materials have demonstrated the ability to grow high quality, single-layer materials one on top of the other using chemical vapor deposition. The technique, often used in the semiconductor industry, can produce new materials with unique properties that could be applied to solar cells, ultracapacitors for energy storage, or advanced transistors for energy efficient electronics.

The team used chemical vapor deposition to grow a layer of quasi-free-standing epitaxial graphene (QFEG) on a silicon carbide substrate, followed by a layer of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), a metal dichalcogenide compound widely used as a lubricant. In order to test the quality of the MoS2 on graphene, the researchers used the material to build a photodetector device to measure the layered material’s efficiency at converting photons to electrons. They found that the response of the MoS2/QFEG material was 100 times higher than MoS2 alone.

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