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Posted: Nov 13, 2015
New measurements in 2-D materials hold great promise for nanotechnology applications
(Nanowerk News) Scientists working at the new CUNY Advanced Science Research Center have helped to develop measurements in two-dimensional materials that hold great promise for nanotechnology applications. This research is considered “an important technological and scientific advancement,” according to the journal, Nature Materials ("Elastic coupling between layers in two-dimensional materials")
“Researchers seek to understand two-dimensional (2D) materials because of their potential applications in photonics, nanoelectronics, nanomechanics, and thermoelectrics” says study leader Dr. Elisa Riedo, professor of physics at the City College-based CUNY Advanced Science Research Center.
These materials, such as epitaxial graphene and MoS2, are films made of a few layers, with each layer only one atom thick. The films are characterized by strong in-plane bonds and weak interactions between the layers.
Sub-angstrom-resolution indentations were used to measure the forces between the atomic layers. Now while the in-plane elasticity of these materials has been widely studied in the past, little was known about the films’ elastic modulus perpendicular to the planes. That is because these types of measurements require ultra-small indentations.
Riedo and her collaborators, including Dr. Yang Gao of CUNY ASRC, were then able to measure and control indentation depths smaller than the films’ interlayer distance. By combining experiments with the density functional theory calculations of Dr. Angelo Bongiorno, a co-principal investigator at the College of Staten Island, the team was able to tune the interlayer elasticity by water molecule intercalation.
The research team also included members from France, and Italy. Support for the study, which appears in “Nature Materials,” was provided by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences of the U.S. Department of Energy.