Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > Flat boron by the numbers: Rice University researchers calculate what it would take to make new two-dimensional material

Two-dimensional sheets of boron that can be lifted off a substrate are possible to make via several theoretical methods suggested in a new paper by Rice University scientists. The material could be a useful complement to graphene and other 2-D materials for electronics, they said. (Credit: Evgeni Penev/Rice University)
Two-dimensional sheets of boron that can be lifted off a substrate are possible to make via several theoretical methods suggested in a new paper by Rice University scientists. The material could be a useful complement to graphene and other 2-D materials for electronics, they said.

(Credit: Evgeni Penev/Rice University)

Abstract:
Rice theoretical physicist Boris Yakobson and his colleagues detail several possible routes to the creation of two-dimensional sheets of boron. They say such sheets would be more conductive than graphene and thus useful in electronic applications.

Flat boron by the numbers: Rice University researchers calculate what it would take to make new two-dimensional material

Houston, TX | Posted on January 31st, 2013

It would be a terrible thing if laboratories striving to grow graphene from carbon atoms kept winding up with big pesky diamonds.

"That would be trouble, cleaning out the diamonds so you could do some real work," said Rice University theoretical physicist Boris Yakobson, chuckling at the absurd image.

Yet something like that keeps happening to experimentalists working to grow two-dimensional boron. Boron atoms have a strong preference to clump into three-dimensional shapes rather than assemble into pristine single-atom sheets, like carbon does when it becomes graphene. And boron clumps aren't nearly as sparkly.

Yakobson and his Rice colleagues have made progress toward 2-D boron through theoretical work that suggests the most practical ways to make the material and put it to work. Earlier calculations by the group indicated 2-D born would conduct electricity better than graphene.

Through first-principle calculations of the interaction of boron atoms with various substrates, the team came up with several possible paths experimentalists may take toward 2-D boron. Yakobson feels the work may point the way toward other useful two-dimensional materials.

The Rice team's results appear this week in the journal Angewandte Chemie International Edition. Rice graduate student Yuanyue Liu and research scientist Evgeni Penev are co-authors of the paper.

Yakobson's lab first reported in a Nano Letters paper last year that unlike graphene, 2-D boron rolled into a nanotube would always be metallic. Also unlike graphene, the atomic arrangement can change without changing the nature of the material. Instead of the steady rank-and-file of hexagons in a perfect graphene sheet, 2-D boron consists of triangles. But boron could have vacancies - missing atoms - without affecting its properties.

That's the theory. The problem that remains is how to make the stuff.

"We are, perhaps, so close," Penev said. "Here we have conceived a material that resembles graphene, but is always conductive no matter what form it takes. What we're doing now is exploring different possibilities to connect our theories with reality."

The best method, they calculated, might be to feed boron into a furnace with silver or gold substrates in a process called chemical vapor deposition, commonly used to make graphene. The substrate is important, Penev said, because the atoms have to spill onto the surface and stick, but not too strongly.

"You have to have a substrate that doesn't want to dissolve boron," he said. "On the other hand, you want a substrate that doesn't bind too strongly. You should be able to detach the boron layer."

Then, like graphene, these atom-thick boron sheets could be applied to other surfaces for testing and, ultimately, for use in applications.

The study also calculated methods for creating sheets via saturation of boron atoms on the surface of boride substrates, and the evaporation of metal atoms from metal borides that leaves just the target atoms in a sheet.

"There are a lot of reasons boron could be interesting," said Liu, the paper's first author. "Boron is carbon's neighbor on the periodic table, with one less electron, which might bring in lots of new physics and chemistry, especially on the nanoscale. For example, 2-D boron is more conductive than graphene because of its unique electronic structure and atomic arrangement.

"In fact, comparing (boron) with graphene is very helpful," he said. "The state-of-art synthesis methods for graphene provide us good templates to explore 2-D boron synthesis."

Yakobson is thinking a step beyond the current work. "There are many groups, at Rice and elsewhere, working on 2-D boron," he said. "To appreciate this work, you have to stand back and contrast it with graphene; in some sense, the synthesis of graphene is trivial.

"Why? Because graphene is a God-given material," he said. "It forms at the global minimum (energy) for carbon atoms - they go there willingly. But boron is a different story. It does not have a planar form as a global minimum, which makes it a really subtle problem. The novelty in this work is that we're trying to trick it into building a two-dimensional motif instead of three."

The search for 2-D materials with varying qualities is hot right now; another new paper from Rice on a hybrid graphene-hexagonal boron nitride shows the need for a 2-D semiconductor to complement the material's conducting and insulating elements.

Yakobson hopes his study serves as a guideline for practical routes to other novel materials. "Now that there is a growing interest in a variety of 2-D materials, this may be a template," he said.

Yakobson is Rice's Karl F. Hasselmann Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and professor of chemistry.

The Department of Energy (DOE) supported the research. Computations were performed on the National Science Foundation-funded Data Analysis and Visualization Cyberinfrastructure at Rice, along with resources at the National Institute for Computational Sciences and the DOE's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center.

####

About Rice University
Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,708 undergraduates and 2,374 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 2 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to tinyurl.com/AboutRiceU.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
David Ruth

713-348-6327

Mike Williams
713-348-6728

Copyright © Rice University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Read the abstract at:

Yakobson Research Group:

Related News Press

News and information

Harris & Harris Group to Host Conference Call on Second-Quarter 2014 Financial Results on August 15, 2014 July 23rd, 2014

UCF Nanotech Spinout Developing Revolutionary Battery Technology: Power the Next Generation of Electronics with Carbon July 23rd, 2014

Deadline Announced for Registration in 7th Int'l Nanotechnology Festival in Iran July 23rd, 2014

A Crystal Wedding in the Nanocosmos July 23rd, 2014

Graphene

Penn Study: Understanding Graphene’s Electrical Properties on an Atomic Level July 22nd, 2014

Haydale and Goodfellow Announce Major Distribution Agreement for Functionalised Graphene Materials July 21st, 2014

CIQUS researchers develop an extremely simple procedure to obtain nanosized graphenes July 15th, 2014

Researchers discover boron 'buckyball' July 14th, 2014

Chip Technology

A Crystal Wedding in the Nanocosmos July 23rd, 2014

Nanometrics Announces Upcoming Investor Events July 22nd, 2014

Penn Study: Understanding Graphene’s Electrical Properties on an Atomic Level July 22nd, 2014

NUS scientists use low cost technique to improve properties and functions of nanomaterials: By 'drawing' micropatterns on nanomaterials using a focused laser beam, scientists could modify properties of nanomaterials for effective applications in photonic and optoelectric applicat July 22nd, 2014

Nanotubes/Buckyballs

UCF Nanotech Spinout Developing Revolutionary Battery Technology: Power the Next Generation of Electronics with Carbon July 23rd, 2014

University of Houston researchers create new method to draw molecules from live cells: Technique using magnetic nanomaterials offers promise for diagnosis, gene therapy July 17th, 2014

3-D nanostructure could benefit nanoelectronics, gas storage: Rice U. researchers predict functional advantages of 3-D boron nitride July 15th, 2014

Researchers discover boron 'buckyball' July 14th, 2014

Discoveries

UCF Nanotech Spinout Developing Revolutionary Battery Technology: Power the Next Generation of Electronics with Carbon July 23rd, 2014

A Crystal Wedding in the Nanocosmos July 23rd, 2014

Nano-sized Chip "Sniffs Out" Explosives Far Better than Trained Dogs: TAU researcher's groundbreaking sensor detects miniscule concentrations of hazardous materials in the air July 23rd, 2014

Penn Study: Understanding Graphene’s Electrical Properties on an Atomic Level July 22nd, 2014

Materials/Metamaterials

Penn Study: Understanding Graphene’s Electrical Properties on an Atomic Level July 22nd, 2014

NUS scientists use low cost technique to improve properties and functions of nanomaterials: By 'drawing' micropatterns on nanomaterials using a focused laser beam, scientists could modify properties of nanomaterials for effective applications in photonic and optoelectric applicat July 22nd, 2014

Steam from the sun: New spongelike structure converts solar energy into steam July 21st, 2014

Carbyne morphs when stretched: Rice University calculations show carbon-atom chain would go metal to semiconductor July 21st, 2014

Announcements

Harris & Harris Group to Host Conference Call on Second-Quarter 2014 Financial Results on August 15, 2014 July 23rd, 2014

UCF Nanotech Spinout Developing Revolutionary Battery Technology: Power the Next Generation of Electronics with Carbon July 23rd, 2014

Deadline Announced for Registration in 7th Int'l Nanotechnology Festival in Iran July 23rd, 2014

A Crystal Wedding in the Nanocosmos July 23rd, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE