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Picking up a tiny flake of material just one atom thick and placing it with precision onto a substrate is no easy task. But now it has become a bit easier, thanks to researchers at the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience in the Netherlands who have come up with the first all-dry technique for transferring 2D materials such as graphene and molybdenum sulphide.

The new method is said to be quick, efficient and clean, and makes use of viscoelastic stamps. As well as being much simpler than traditional wet-transfer techniques, it could also be used to fabricate freely suspended 2D structures because the samples are not subject to any capillary forces during the process.

2D materials are creating a flurry of interest in labs around the world because they have dramatically different electronic and mechanical properties from their 3D counterparts. This means that they could find use in a host of practical devices such as low-power electronics circuits, low-cost or flexible displays, sensors and even flexible electronics that can be coated onto a variety of surfaces.

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