Scientists in the Department of Physics at the University of Warwick in the UK might have laid the foundation for highly efficient circuits. For the first time, they managed to measure the electronic structure of stacks of 2D materials which allows to understand the transfer of electrical energy, hence a stack’s performance as a semiconductor in a nano-circuit.
The development of flexible and small, yet highly efficient electronic devices is on the forerun with one of the latest discoveries providing insights into the electronic structures of 2D materials.
It Is Not (Only) About the Outer Appearances
When thinking of wearable gadgets, a picture of super-thin, super-flexible, super-light devices pops up in our minds. All attributes one would rather allocate to the casing. But what about their ‘heart’, the so called circuit? Scientists in the Department of Physics at the University of Warwick in the UK might have laid the foundation for a major improvement, allowing for highly efficient circuits, which also allow for smaller, more flexible and thus wearable gadgets.
A New Era for Circuits
For the first time, they managed to measure the electronic structure of stacks of 2D materials. Why is that important? It is because understanding the electronic structure also means understanding the transfer of electrical energy, hence a stack’s performance as a semiconductor in a nano-circuit.
But there is something more to the outcome of the research. By using the photoelectric effect to measure the momentum of electrons within each of the atomically thin layers, the scientists were also able to see the effect on combined layers. In the end, understanding the electronic structures of different 2D materials enables scientists to stack different combinations of 2D materials to look for the optimal semiconductor structure. And this would definitely usher a new era for nano-circuits, hence could mean a big development for flexible electronics.
Dr. Neil Wilson in the Department of Physics at the University of Warwick:
“It is extremely exciting to be able to see, for the first time, how interactions between atomically thin layers change their electronic structure.”
A Discovery with a Lot of Potential
With their discovery, Neil Wilson and his international team could also have opened up possibilities to use solar power with mobile devices and gadgets. At least, the heterostructures – as the stacks of different 2D materials are called – have proven to be real light-absorption and power-conversion wonders while needing only a little amount of photovoltaic material – perfect conditions for their use in these contexts.
In a world where sustainability is reviving, should or shouldn’t the electronic industry focus more on the development of solar-powered devices anyhow? Leave us your comment in the section on the right.