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Study looks at future of 2D materials

MANCHESTER, England, July 29 (UPI) — Graphene — the atom-thick, honeycomb-like weave of carbon — revolutionized the world of materials science. Now other 2D materials and their creators are looking to do the same.

In a new survey, researchers at the University of Manchester and National University of Singapore detailed the potential of several new types of 2D materials.

Materials scientists have had great success combining graphene with other materials, but the latest survey — published this week in the journal Science — suggests mimicking the heterostructures of graphene with new material combinations.

As was the case when the material qualities of graphene — strength, flexibility, conductivity — were first realized in 2004, scientists are struggling scale up the synthesis of other 2D materials.

“With 2D materials, we are currently where we were about 10 years ago with graphene — plenty of interesting science and unclear prospects for mass production,” Kostya Novoselov, a physicist and material scientist at Manchester, said in a news release. “Given the fast progress of graphene technology over the past few years, we can expect similar advances in the production of heterostructures, making the science and applications more achievable.”

Currently, researchers create 2D materials by stacking monolayer flakes of different materials. The process is slow and cumbersome. The new study highlights the need for more efficient synthesization processes like chemical vapor deposition to further expand the potential of these novel materials.

“Given the fast progress of graphene technology over the past few years, we can expect similar advances in the production of the heterostructures,” researchers wrote in their new paper, “making the science and applications more achievable.”

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