Creating two-dimentional materials large enough to use in electronics is a challenge despite huge effort but now, Penn State researchers have discovered a method for improving the quality of one class of 2-D materials, with potential to achieve wafer-scale growth in the future.
The field of 2-D materials with unusual properties has exploded in the 15 years since Konstantin Novoselov and Andre Geim pulled a single atomic layer of carbon atoms off of bulk graphene using simple adhesive tape. Although a great amount of science has been conducted on these small fragments of graphene, industrial-sized layers are difficult to grow.
Of the materials envisioned for next-generation electronics, a group of semiconductors called transition metal dichalcogenides are at the forefront. TMDs are only a few atoms thick but are very efficient at emitting light, which makes them candidates for optoelectronics such as light-emitting diodes, photodetectors, or single-photon emitters.