MURI – Atomic Layers of Nitrides, Oxides, and Sulfides (ALNOS)
Project Sponsored by the Army Research Office
The discovery of graphene, made of a single atomic layer of carbon, can be considered as a defining point in the research and development of stable truly 2D material systems. This breakthrough has opened up the possibility of isolating and exploring the fascinating properties of atomic layers of several other layered materials, which upon reduction to single/few atomic layers, will offer functional flexibility, new properties and novel applications. However, challenges in isolating such materials into free-standing 2D atomic layers have to be overcome in order to obtain such structures in controllable ways. Thus the underlying theme of this MURI program is to develop synthetic approaches to isolate atomic layers of a broad range of materials, such as nitrides and oxides, and explore their structure-property correlations. The main objective of this proposal is to explore innovative top-down and bottom-up routes for the synthesis or isolation of high quality uni-lamellar sheets and ribbons of nitrides, oxides and sulfides. The program will develop several synthetic approaches that can be generically used to create atomic layers routinely from bulk layered structures as well as chemical precursors. The program will also develop techniques to structurally characterize, chemically modify as well as physically manipulate these layers. Driven by basic experimental and theoretical research we will also explore several applications of these 2D layers, for example, sensors, ultrathin dielectrics, unique ionic conductors, band-gap engineered materials, 2D substrates and micro-devices in a variety of electro-opto-mechanical systems.