Researchers quickly harvest 2-D materials, bringing them closer to commercialization
October 11, 2018
Since the 2003 discovery of the single-atom-thick carbon material known as graphene, there has been significant interest in other types of 2-D materials as well.
These materials could be stacked together like Lego bricks to form a range of devices with different functions, including operating as semiconductors. In this way, they could be used to create ultra-thin, flexible, transparent and wearable electronic devices.
However, separating a bulk crystal material into 2-D flakes for use in electronics has proven difficult to do on a commercial scale.
The existing process, in which individual flakes are split off from the bulk crystals by repeatedly stamping the crystals onto an adhesive tape, is unreliable and time-consuming, requiring many hours to harvest enough material and form a device.
Now researchers in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT have developed a technique to harvest 2-inch diameter wafers of 2-D material within just a few minutes. They can then be stacked together to form an electronic device within an hour.