Atomically thin building blocks could make optoelectrical devices more efficient | 2/23/2018 | Staff
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Researchers at Purdue University have developed new heterostructures that could make optoelectrical devices, such as solar panels and sensors, more efficient.

Heterostructures are made by stacking layers of two-dimensional materials. Here, the researchers stacked two very thin materials, tungsten disulfide and graphene, to see if they would work together to create electricity.

Material - Top - Silicon - Cells - Mismatch

"If you wanted to add a different material on top of silicon, which is often used in solar cells, it would be very difficult because there would be a mismatch between the materials," said Libai Huang, a professor of chemistry in Purdue's College of Science, who led the research. "But these atomically thin layers allow you to build like Legos. This opens up a lot of new ways of designing functionality."

Graphene, which is a form of carbon, is good at moving electrons. Carbon atoms form bonds that electrons can use to move around quickly; the faster the electrons move, the more efficient the electrical current they create. For comparison, electrons can...
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