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Amid the frenzy of worldwide research on atomically thin materials like graphene, there is one area that has eluded any systematic analysis—even though this information could be crucial to a host of potential applications, including desalination, DNA sequencing, and devices for quantum communications and computation systems.

That missing information has to do with the kinds of minuscule defects, or "holes," that form in these 2-D sheets when some atoms are missing from the material's crystal lattice.

Now that problem has been solved by researchers at MIT, who have produced a catalog of the exact sizes and shapes of holes that would most likely be observed (as opposed to the many more that are theoretically possible) when a given number of atoms is removed from the atomic lattice. The results are described in the journal Nature Materials in a paper by graduate student Ananth Govind Rajan, professors of chemical engineering Daniel Blankschtein and Michael Strano, and four others at MIT, Lockheed Martin Space, and Oxford University.

To read more, click here.

Category: Science