A new one atom-thick flat material that could upstage the wonder material graphene and advance digital technology has been discovered by a physicist at the University of Kentucky working in collaboration with scientists from Daimler in Germany and the Institute for Electronic Structure and Laser (IESL) in Greece.
Reported in Physical Review B, Rapid Communications, the new material is made up of silicon, boron and nitrogen — all light, inexpensive and earth abundant elements — and is extremely stable, a property many other graphene alternatives lack. Subsequent search for new 2D semiconducting materials led researchers to a new class of three-layer materials called transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs).
The research activities are centered on the following major areas:
- Materials and Devices, including polymeric (soft matter), electronic, magnetic, photonic and functional materials as well as compound semiconductors, devices and MEMS.
- Lasers and their applications, including experimental atomic and molecular physics, chemical dynamics, non-linear optics, materials micro and nano processing, fiber optics sensors and biomedical applications. New activities have recently been initiated on ultracold quantum gases and quantum optics.
- Theoretical and computational Physics and Chemistry focused on atomic and molecular physics and chemistry, quantum optics, condensed matter physics, biomedicine and a focused activity on environmental studies.
There is a strong interplay in research activities within the above fields with emphasis on crossing the borders between physics, chemistry and biology. Training and education through research and the exploitation of technologically mature applications are equally important priorities.