Atomically Thin Device Promises New Class of Electronics

Northwestern University researchers have created a p-n heterojunction diode, an interface between two types of semiconducting materials, by integrating two atomically thin materials, molybedenum disulfide and carbon nanotubes. The technology could help lead the way to a new generation of computing based on nanoscale electronics. “The p-n junction diode is among the most ubiquitous components of modern electronics,” says Northwestern professor Mark Hersam. “By creating this device using atomically thin materials, we not only realize the benefits of conventional diodes but also achieve the ability to electronically tune and customize the device characteristics.” The p-n junction diode forms the basis of several technologies, including solar cells, light-emitting diodes, photodetectors, computers, and lasers. The p-n heterojunction diode also is highly sensitive to light, an attribute that enabled the researchers to create an ultrafast photodetector with an electronically tunable wavelength response. “We anticipate that this work will enable new types of electronic functionality and could be applied to the growing number of emerging two-dimensional materials,” Hersam says.

More info: Northwestern University Newscenter (10/21/13) Sarah Ostman

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