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Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have grown atomically thin crystalline layers of transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) with varying composition over space, continuously feeding in different types of TMDC to a growth chamber to tailor changes in properties. Examples include 20-nanometer strips surrounded by TMDCs with atomically straight interfaces and layered structures. They also directly probed the electronic properties of these heterostructures; potential applications include electronics with unparalleled power efficiency.
Semiconductors are indispensable; silicon-based integrated circuits underpin the operation of all things digital, from discrete devices like computers, smartphones and home appliances to control components for every possible industrial application. A broad range of scientific research has been directed to the next steps in semiconductor design, particularly the application of novel materials to engineer more compact, efficient circuitry that leverages the quantum mechanical behavior of materials at the nanometer-length scale. Of special interest are materials with a fundamentally different dimensionality; the most famous example is graphene, a two-dimensional lattice of carbon atoms which is atomically thin.
Transition - Metal - Dichalcogenides - TMDCs - Candidates
Transition metal dichalcogenides (or TMDCs) are promising candidates for incorporation into new semiconductor devices. Composed of transition metals like molybdenum and tungsten and a chalcogen (or Group 16 element) like sulfur or selenium, they can form layered crystalline structures whose properties change drastically when the metallic element is changed, from normal metals to semiconductors, even to superconductors. By controllably weaving domains of different TMDCs into a single heterostructure (made of domains with different composition), it may be possible to produce atomically...
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