New Tech Promises Flexible And Paper-Thin Tablets And TV Screens
WASHINGTON: Scientists have used a focused beam of electrons to create some of the smallest nanowires ever made, an advance that paves the way for flexible, paper-thin tablets and television displays.
Junhao Lin, a Vanderbilt University student and visiting scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), used a finely focused beam of electrons to create the flexible metallic wires only three atoms wide: One thousandth the width of the microscopic wires used to connect the transistors in today’s integrated circuits.
According to Lin’s advisor Sokrates Pantelides, University Distinguished Professor of Physics and Engineering at Vanderbilt University, and his collaborators at ORNL, the technique represents an exciting new way to manipulate matter at the nanoscale and should give a boost to efforts to create electronic circuits out of atomic monolayers, the thinnest possible form factor for solid objects.
Lin made the tiny wires from a special family of semiconducting materials that naturally form monolayers.
These materials, called transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs), are made by combining the metals molybdenum or tungsten with either sulfur or selenium.
The best-known member of the family is molybdenum disulfide, a common mineral that is used as a solid lubricant.
Atomic monolayers are the object of considerable scientific interest because they tend to have a number of remarkable qualities, such as exceptional strength and flexibility, transparency and high electron mobility.