Context: Researchers have made computer based designs of nano-materials with superhigh piezoelectricity which can be the building blocks of futuristic nano-electronics for applications like ultrathin, next-generation nano-transistors.
More about the news:
The design is developed by scientists from Institute of Nano Science and Technology (INST), Mohali, an autonomous institute under the Department of Science & Technology.
Image: Piezoelectric Effect(Source: electronic design.com)
- Piezoelectricity is the generation of electricity in certain materials upon application of pressure.
- Its applications have eased our daily lives through the use of lighters, pressure gauge, sensors and so on.
- Piezoelectricity in 2D materials was first predicted theoretically in 2012 and later observed and confirmed experimentally in monolayer in 2014.
- Since then, there has been a surge in research interests in piezoelectricity in graphene-like two-dimensional (2D) materials.
- However, most of the 2D materials reported till date mainly show in-plane piezoelectricity, but for device-based applications, out-of-plane piezoelectricity is very much desired and sought after.
Graphene is a two-dimensional honeycomb arrangement of carbon atoms that is revolutionizing technology. Graphene is flexible, strong and transparent, too.
- Nearly every material that we encounter is three-dimensional and it’s just a beginning to understand how the properties of a material are changed when it is made into a two-dimensional array.
Graphene Has the Best Electrical Conductivity of Any Material:
- Most conductors we encounter are metals. Graphene is based on carbon, a nonmetal, yet electricity flows very quickly through the simple honeycomb sheet.
- This allows for the development of electricity to flow under conditions where we might not want a metal.
- Graphene conducts so much electricity in so small a space that it may be used to develop miniaturized super-fast computers and transistors.
- These devices should require a minuscule amount of power to support them.
The new research:
- In their work funded by the Department of Science and Technology under Nanomission and Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), India the researchers have demonstrated induction of superhigh out-of-plane piezoelectricity via stacking one monolayer over the other in the 2D nanostructure.
- The induction of this phenomenon is based on two-dimensional van der Waals heterostructure (vdWH) consisting of 2D monolayer.
- A monolayer is a single, closely packed layer of atoms, molecules, or cells.
- When two monolayers are stacked over one another to constitute a vdWH, various factors affect the electronic properties.
- The dipoles arising at the interface due to the large charge density difference between the two constituent monolayers result in such an ultrahigh value in out-of-plane piezoelectricity.
While strong covalent bonds provide in-plane stability of 2D the crystals, van der Waals heterostructures are materials where the atomically thin layers are not mixed through a chemical reaction but rather attached to each other via a weak so called van der Waals interaction – similar to how a sticky tape attaches to a flat surface.
- With the continued trend in the miniaturization of electronic devices, there is a growing demand for superfast ultrathin nanodevices and nanotransistors.
- The nanostructures could be an essential ingredient or building block in constructing these kinds of nanodevices.
- The carrier mobility of the designed nano-materials have been found to exceed that for silicon and therefore, the ultrathin nanostructures thereby providing an insight into the building blocks in futuristic nano-electronics.
- The computational materials can motivate experimentalists to fabricate nano devices with the desired functionality.
- Transistors used in the motherboard of Computers and Laptops are getting thinner and thinner with the passage of time.
So, piezoelectric nanomaterials may be utilized in these ultrathin, next-generation nano-transistors through a synergistic coupling between piezoelectricity and electronics.
- Nanomaterials are chemical substances or materials that are manufactured and used at a very small scale(atom).
- Nanomaterials are developed to exhibit novel characteristics compared to the same material without nanoscale features, such as increased strength, chemical reactivity or conductivity.
- Presently, Nanotechnology focuses on the development, understanding, and use of materials at the nanoscale, or nanomaterials.