(July 6, 2015) Scientists from the MIPT Department of Molecular and Chemical Physics have for the first time described the behavior of electrons in a previously unstudied analogue of graphene, two-dimensional niobium telluride, and, in the process, uncovered the nature of two-dimensionality effects on conducting properties. These findings will help in the creation of future flat and flexible electronic devices.
In recent decades, physicists have been actively studying so-called two-dimensional materials. Andrei Geim and Konstantin Novoselov received the Nobel Prize for their research on graphene, the most well-known among them. The properties of such materials, which can be described as “sheets” with a thickness of a few atoms, strongly differ from their three-dimensional analogues. For example, graphene is transparent, conducts current better than copper and has good thermal conductivity. Scientists believe that other types of two-dimensional materials may possess even more exotic properties.
A group of scientists from Russia and the USA, including Pavel Sorokin and Liubov Antipina from MIPT, recently conducted research on the properties of the crystals of one such material,Nb3SiTe6, a compound of niobium telluride. In their structure, the crystals resemble sandwiches with a thickness of three atoms (around 4 angstroms): a layer of tellurium, a layer of niobium mixed with silicon atoms and then another layer of tellurium. This substance belongs to a class of materials known as dichalcogenides, which many scientists view as promising two-dimensional semiconductors.