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Researchers at Columbia University in the US have developed a new device structure in which they can vary the “twist” angle between layers of 2D materials (such as graphene) and study how this angle affects their electronic, optical and mechanical properties. The measurements, which are carried out on a single structure rather than multiple ones (as was the case before), could advance the emerging field of “twistronics” – a fundamentally new approach to device engineering.

“In recent years, researchers have realized that the weak coupling between different layers of 2D materials can be used to manipulate these materials in ways that are not possible with more conventional structures,” explains Cory Dean, who led this research effort together with James Hone. “One dramatic example is being able to modify their electronic properties by varying the angle between the layers.

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