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Being flat isn’t always boring, as many materials take on a new life when reduced to two dimensions. Certain properties—such as large magnetoresistance or piezoelectricity—only appear in the 2D version of a material, so there’s a potential payoff for finding new 2D phases. Using a “survival of the fittest” algorithm, a research team has explored hypothetical 2D structures of oxides consisting of group-IV elements: silicon (Si), germanium (Ge), tin (Sn), and lead (Pb). They uncover three possibly stable 2D phases and predict their electrical properties.

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Category: Science