A NYU Tandon research team has found a new method to more efficiently create advanced graphene electronic devices, stacking graphene like LEGO blocks to create artificial electronic materials.
The team has found a way of constructing these so-called van der Waals (vdW) heterostructures out of graphene using mechanical exfoliation. The resulting graphene flakes are then moved to a target location to assemble them into vdW heterostructures.
“Our construction method is simple, high-yield, and generalizable to different layered materials,” explained NYC Tandon School of Engineering Professor Davood Shahrjerdi. “It enabled us to optimize the exfoliation step independently of the layer transfer step and vice versa, resulting in two major outcomes: a consistent exfoliation method for producing large monolayer flakes and a high-yield layer transfer of exfoliated flakes. Also, by using graphene as a model material, we further established the remarkable material and electronic properties of the resulting heterostructures.”
According to an NYU news release, the team was able to more efficiently built these vdW heterostructures using a polymeric film less than 1/10,000th the width of a human hair, adjusting the film’s properties to enhance its ability to exfoliate the monolayer graphene. Before assembly, the film is dissolved using a drop of water, releasing the graphene.