2D borophene gets a closer look

Rice, Northwestern find new ways to image, characterize unique material

Graphene can come from graphite. But borophene? There’s no such thing as borite.

Unlike its carbon cousin, two-dimensional borophene can’t be reduced from a larger natural form. Bulk boron is usually only found in combination with other elements, and is certainly not layered, so borophene has to be made from the atoms up. Even then, the borophene you get may not be what you need.

For that reason, researchers at Rice and Northwestern universities have developed a method to view 2D borophene crystals, which can have many lattice configurations — called polymorphs — that in turn determine their characteristics.

Knowing how to achieve specific polymorphs could help manufacturers incorporate borophene with desirable electronic, thermal, optical and other physical properties into products.

Boris Yakobson, a materials physicist at Rice’s Brown School of Engineering, and materials scientist Mark Hersam of Northwestern led a team that not only discovered how to see the nanoscale structures of borophene lattices but also built theoretical models that helped characterize the crystalline forms.

Their results are published in Nature Communications.

– See more at Rice News

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