Research which integrates borophene and graphene, is an important step toward creating integrated circuits from these nano-materials for electronics use.

Nanomaterials could provide the basis of many emerging technologies, including extremely tiny, flexible, and transparent electronics.
 
While many nanomaterials exhibit promising electronic properties, scientists and engineers are still working to best integrate these materials together to eventually create semiconductors and circuits with them.
 
Northwestern Engineering researchers have created two-dimensional (2-D) heterostructures from two of these materials, graphene and borophene, taking an important step toward creating intergrated circuits from these nanomaterials.
 
“If you were to crack open an integrated circuit inside a smartphone, you’d see many different materials integrated together,” said Mark Hersam, Walter P. Murphy Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, who led the research. “However, we’ve reached the limits of many of those traditional materials. By integrating nanomaterials like borophene and graphene together, we are opening up new possibilities in nanoelectronics.
 
Any integrated circuit contains many materials that perform different functions, like conducting electricity or keeping components electrically isolated. But while transistors within circuits have become smaller and smaller—thanks to advances in materials and manufacturing—they are close to reaching the limit of how small they can get.
 
Ultrathin 2-D materials like graphene have the potential to bypass that problem, but integrating 2-D materials together is difficult. These materials are only one atom thick, so if the two materials’ atoms do not line up perfectly, the integration is unlikely to be successful. Unfortunately, most 2-D materials do not match up at the atomic scale, presenting challenges for 2-D integrated circuits.”
 
“In the last 20 years, new materials have enabled miniaturization and correspondingly improved performance in transistor technology,” he said. “Two-dimensional materials have the potential to make the next leap.”

 
Read full article New research integrates borophene and graphene into 2-D heterostructures

Source: by Emily Ayshford, Northwestern University , via Phys.Org
Image: Atomic-resolution scanning tunneling microscopy image of a borophene-graphene lateral heterostructure with an overlaid schematic of interfacial boron-carbon bonding. Image width: 1.7 nm. Credit: Northwestern University

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