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Nanoquakes Probe New 2-Dimensional Material

By ­CR Today

October 29, 2015

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New research from scientists at the University of California, Riverside (UC Riverside), and the University of Augsburg in Germany could lead to a post-graphene era of new materials for electronic applications.

The researchers have found a way to elucidate the properties of novel two-dimensional semiconductors.

The team fabricated a single-atomic-layer-thin film of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) on a substrate of lithium niobate (LiNbO3). By applying electrical pulses to LiNbO3, the team created very high frequency sound waves, known as "surface acoustic waves," which run along the surface of LiNbO3, similar to earthquake tremors on land. The researchers say they could "hear" the LiNbO3 sound waves and infer how much current the laser light allowed to flow in the MoS2.

"The well-established nature of the substrates and the processes to create surface acoustic waves makes the novel technique facile and ready to be applied," says UC Riverside professor Ludwig Bartels. "In particular, even remote, wireless sensing applications appear to be within reach."

He also notes the materials could offer better integration of optical communication with traditional silicon-based devices.

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