BRI – Science & Emerging Technology of 2D Atomic Layer Materials and Devices
Project Sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)
Due to the success of graphene research, the idea of engineering two-dimensional (2D), atomically thin layers of non-graphene materials has become compelling. Several recent reports have indicated excellent potential for their use in electronic and optical device platforms. The ability to quantum engineer electronic states in the ultimately thin single-atomic-layer limit is expected to lead to novel device concepts and integration.
The availability of stable atomic layers with various compositions and electronic structures enables one to stack these layers and produce new van der Waals (vdW) structures with unexplored properties. Some of these materials are known to be direct-gap semiconductors, ideally suited for light generation and detection. Ultra-wide wavelength tunability, from the terahertz to the ultraviolet, is expected, utilizing their composition-dependent bandgaps. The bandgap of artificially-layered structures can be further tuned via quantum confinement just by changing the number of atomic layers of the optically active material with the desired bulk bandgap. The bandgap engineering in such artificial structures and architectures with desired and tailored properties requires atomic-precision methods for synthesis and characterization. Here, we bring together a multidisciplinary team of scientists and engineers with combined expertise in the synthesis, device development, and fundamental physics to create new scientific discoveries and device platforms that go beyond the promise of graphene. This will be an international, interdisciplinary collaborative effort involving investigators from USA, Spain and Japan and collaborators from the DoD labs.
Recent reports show that this new and emerging area of 2D materials and devices beyond graphene and the ensuing interdisciplinary activities will be in perfect synergy with the already well-established graphene science and will impact different fields of science, and engineering in the next decade. Our team will work at the leading edge of this area and create fundamental discoveries that will lay the foundation in this field. We will focus on three major areas which are critical to the development of this field namely, the scalable synthesis of pristine and hybrid 2D materials with controlled atomic layer thicknesses and their characterization, exploration of new and novel physical phenomena that includes electronic, optical and magnetic properties, and the development of two-dimensional device platforms that incorporates multi-component atomic layers that range in electronic characteristics from metals to semiconductors to insulators.