A new understanding of why synthetic 2-D materials often perform orders of magnitude worse than predicted was reached by teams of researchers. They searched for ways to improve these materials’ performance in future electronics, photonics and memory storage applications. Two-dimensional materials are films only an atom or two thick. Researchers make 2-D materials by the exfoliation method — peeling a slice of material off a larger bulk material — or by condensing a gas precursor onto a substrate. The former method provides higher-quality materials, but is not useful for making devices. The second method is well established in industrial applications, but yields low-performance, 2-D films. The researchers demonstrated, for the first time, why the quality of 2-D materials grown by the chemical vapor deposition method have poor performance compared to their theoretical predictions.
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