The third dimension may be responsible for preventing electronics from becoming thinner, tinier and more flexible, according to an international collaboration that developed a way to manufacture new, idealized two-dimensional semiconductor materials. They published their approach on June 3 in Nano Research.
The researchers, led by Lin Zhou, associate professor of chemistry at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China, focused on indium arsenide (InAs), a narrow bandgap semiconductor with properties useful for high-speed electronics and highly sensitive infrared photodetectors. Unlike most of the existing 2D materials with layered structures, the problem, Zhou said, is that InAs typically has a 3D lattice structure, which makes it challenging to transform into ultrathin 2D films for advanced electronic and optoelectronic applications.
"The growth of large, ultrathin 2D non-layered materials has been a grand challenge, but one worth solving. Thanks to its high mobility and tunable bandgap, 2D InAs could be a critical material for next-generation, high-performance nano-electronics, nano-photonics and quantum devices," Zhou said. "It has the advantages of both InAs, such as high carrier mobility, small and direct bandgap size, and 2D materials, which have an ultrathin nature suitable for small size devices, are flexible and transparent." This work also provides a promising way to further expand the group of 2D semiconductors by incorporating materials with non-layered structures.
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