University of Arkansas scientists are a part of a Inter-National team that has discovered a 2-dimensional ferroelectric material just 2 atoms thick.
2-dimensional materials are ultra thin membranes that hold promise for novel optoelectronic, thermal, & mechanical applications, including ultra-thin data-storage devices that might be both foldable & knowledge dense.
Ferroelectric materials are those with an intrinsic dipole moment—a measure of the separation of positive (+ve) and negative (-ve) charges—that are often switched by an electrical field, said Barraza-Lopez. “For Ex, one water molecule has an intrinsic electron moment also , but the thermal motion of individual water molecules under ordinary conditions (for instance, during a water bottle) prevents the creation of an intrinsic-dipole moment over macroscopic distances.”
There has been vigorous push by researchers to deploy atomically thin, 2-dimensional ferroelectrics within the past 5 years, he said. The new material discovered by the team, a tin selenide monolayer, is merely the third 2-dimensional ferroelectric belonging to the chemical family of group-IV monochalcogenides that has been experimentally grown thus so far . Additionally to U of A scientists the team included researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Microstucture Physics in Germany & therefore The Beijing Academy of Quantum Information Sciences in China. The invention was described in a paper-published within the journal Nano Letters.
Using a scanning tunneling microscope, researchers switched the electron-dipole moment of tin selenide monolayers grown on a graphitic substrate. Calculations performed by U of A grad. student Brandon Miller verified a highly oriented growth of this material on such substrate.
The experimental deployment of those materials helps corroborate theoretical predictions underlying truly novel physical behavior. For Ex , these semiconducting ferroelectric materials undergo phase transitions induced by temp. in which their intrinsic electric-dipole is quenched. They also host non-linear optical effects that would be useful for ultra-compact optoelectronics applications.