Hybrid material may outperform graphene in several applications

March 1, 2019 by José Tadeu Arantes, FAPESP
Hybrid material may outperform graphene in several applications
A structure comprising a molybdenum disulfide monolayer on an azobenzene substrate could be used to build a highly compactable and malleable quasi-two-dimensional transistor powered by light . Credit: atomistic representations of molybdenum disulfide monolayer with an azobenzene molecule in its trans and cis isomers/ Physical Review B

Materials that are hybrid constructions (combining organic and inorganic precursors) and quasi-two-dimensional (with malleable and highly compactable molecular structures) are on the rise in several technological applications, such as the fabrication of ever-smaller optoelectronic devices.

An article published in Physical Review B describes a study led by Diana Meneses Gustin and Luís Cabral, who explain theoretically the unique optical and transport properties resulting from the interaction between a monolayer, inorganic substance MoS2, and a substrate of azobenzene, organic substance C12H10N2.

Illumination makes the azobenzene molecule switch and transition from a stable trans spatial configuration to a metastable cis form, producing effects on the electron cloud in the molybdenum disulfide monolayer. These effects, which are reversible, had previously been investigated experimentally by Emanuela Margapoti in postdoctoral research conducted at UFSCar and supported by FAPESP.

Gustin and Cabral developed a model to emulate the process theoretically. "They performed ab initio simulations [computational simulations using only established science] and calculations based on density functional theory [a quantum mechanical method used to investigate the dynamics of many-body systems]. They also modeled the transport properties of the molybdenum disulfide monolayer when disturbed by variations in the azobenzene substrate," researcher Lopez Richard explained.

While the published paper does not address technological applications, the deployment of the effect to build a light-activated two-dimensional transistor is on the researchers' horizon.

"The quasi two-dimensional structure makes molybdenum disulfide as attractive as graphene in terms of space reduction and malleability, but it has virtues that potentially make it even better. It's a semiconductor with similar electrical conductivity properties to graphene's and it's more versatile optically because it emits light in the wavelength range from infrared to the visible region," Richard said.

The hybrid -disulfide-azobenzene structure is considered a highly promising material, but a great deal of research and development will be required if it is to be effectively deployed in useful devices.

Explore further: Scientists show the vulnerability of a promising two-dimensional semiconductor to air, and discover new catalyst

More information: D. Meneses-Gustin et al, Photomodulation of transport in monolayer dichalcogenides, Physical Review B (2018). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.98.241403

Related Stories

Molybdenum disulfide holds promise for light absorption

May 5, 2016

Mechanics know molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) as a useful lubricant in aircraft and motorcycle engines and in the CV and universal joints of trucks and automobiles. Rice University engineering researcher Isabell Thomann knows ...

Golden nanoglue completes the wonder material

June 5, 2018

In a recent study, scientists at the University of Oulu have developed a nanojunction, joining one of the most promising novel materials, molybdenum disulfide, with nickel.

Harnessingthe properties of a remarkable 2-D material

August 10, 2017

Characterizing the thermal properties of crystalline molybdenum disulfide, an important two-dimensional (2-D) material, has proven challenging. Now researchers from A*STAR have developed a simple technique that could pave ...

Recommended for you

EPA adviser is promoting harmful ideas, scientists say

March 22, 2019

The Trump administration's reliance on industry-funded environmental specialists is again coming under fire, this time by researchers who say that Louis Anthony "Tony" Cox Jr., who leads a key Environmental Protection Agency ...

Coffee-based colloids for direct solar absorption

March 22, 2019

Solar energy is one of the most promising resources to help reduce fossil fuel consumption and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to power a sustainable future. Devices presently in use to convert solar energy into thermal ...

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Osiris1
not rated yet Mar 02, 2019
Carbon doesn't get to have all the fun
NoStrings
not rated yet Mar 03, 2019
I am glad. The singular focus on graphene, while certainly an interesting material, was leading to quite an unrealistic expectations and hype of do-it-all substrate.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.