Engineers make golden breakthrough to improve electronic devices

A Kansas State University chemical engineer has discovered that a new member of the ultrathin materials family has great potential to improve electronic and thermal devices. Vikas Berry, William H. Honstead professor of chemical engineering, and his research team have studied a new three-atom-thick material — molybdenum disulfide — and found that manipulating it with gold atoms improves its electrical characteristics. Their research appears in a recent issue of Nano Letters. The research may advance transistors, photodetectors, sensors and thermally conductive coatings, Berry said. It could also produce ultrafast, ultrathin logic and plasmonics devices. Berry’s laboratory has been leading studies on synthesis and properties of several next-generation atomically thick nanomaterials, such as graphene and boron-nitride layers, which have been applied for sensitive detection, high-rectifying electronics, mechanically strong composites and novel bionanotechnology applications. “Futuristically, these atomically thick structures have the potential to revolutionize electronics by evolving into devices that will be only a few atoms thick,” Berry said. For the latest research, Berry and his team focused on transistors based on molybdenum disulfide, or MoS2, which was isolated only two years ago. The material is made of three-atom-thick sheets and has recently shown to have transistor-rectification that is better than graphene, which

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