May, 2021 - By WMR
Researchers from the Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory announced discovery of a 2D compound known borophane, a layer of boron and hydrogen that is just two atoms thick, in partnership with Northwestern University and the University of Florida.
The field of 2D material science is a complex one, with recent advancements opening up new possibilities all the time, most recently by graphene adaptations. Scientists in the U.S. have added a new competitor to the competition in the form of borophane, an ultra-strong, ultra-thin substance that they hope to be used in modern equipment one day. Borophene's strength and flexibility make it a promising material for everything from batteries to sensor technology, although not without imperfections. It's challenging to make, and it responds differently with open air, quickly oxidizing to become extremely unstable and prone to deformation.
“Borophene by itself has a slew of issues,” “Said Mark Hersam, a Northwestern University Materials Science and Engineering professor. “However, as we combine borophene with hydrogen, the substance becomes even more durable and appealing for use in the emerging fields of nanoelectronics and quantum information technology,” states the researcher.
The new material was made by developing borophene on a silver substrate and then exposing it to hydrogen, which results in complex, two-atom-thick boron and hydrogen atom configurations. Computer vision and scan tunnel microscope imaging is used to validate this structure. Batteries, solar cells, and mobile devices are among the potential applications for borophane, according to the researchers. They do claim that its properties may be especially useful in electronics that rely on light for better efficiency, a system called as optoelectronics which includes anything from highly energy-efficient computer chips to sophisticated LED displays.
“What is particularly encouraging about our findings is that, unlike borophene, we discovered that a borophane nanosheet on a silver substrate is very stable,” says Pierre Darancet, a nanoscientist at Argonne's Center for Nanoscale Materials.