A new process in the development of atomically thin materials could advance the development of transparent LED displays, efficient solar cells and tiny transistors. Engineers at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have found a simple method to fix the defects common to the promising films, called monolayer semiconductors.
By simply using an organic superacid to chemically treat a monolayer semiconductor made of molybdenum disulfide, or MoS2, researchers were able to achieve a 100-fold increase in the material's photo-luminescent efficiency, from one percent to a perfect 100 percent.
"This study presents the first demonstration of an optoelectronically perfect monolayer, which previously had been unheard of in a material this thin," said principal investigator Ali Javey, a UC Berkeley professor.
The group's research involves layers of MoS2 that are only seven-tenths of a nanometer thick, which is even thinner than a strand of human DNA at 2.5 nanometers in diameter.