APPLICATIONS OF TECHNOLOGY:
- FRET-based bio detection
- Optoelectrical devices, e.g., solar cells, electrically pumped plasmonic lasers
- Preserves monolayer semiconducting characteristics
- Exhibits tunable optical properties
- Can be grown at low temperatures
- Straightforward incorporation of mithrene into devices
Nathan Hohman of Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry has developed a technology to fabricate large crystals and large volumes of mithrene (silver benzeneselenolate), the first bulk material designed to express monolayer properties in its as-synthesized state.
Mithrene is a direct-band-gap semiconductor with discrete inorganic and organic layers in a “Neapolitan cookie” structure. The inorganic layer is a two-dimensional polymer of silver and selenium, and the selenium is attached to the organic layer. The Berkeley Lab technology uses principles of tarnishing to introduce an organic precursor to the silver surface in the gas phase and produce uniform, multi-centimeter-area films of this robust hybrid material. The wet chemical technique may also fabricate an entire family of similarly structured materials with different noble metals, organics, and/or chalcogens.
Ultrathin 2D materials are delicate and difficult to create and incorporate into devices, prompting the search for more robust two-dimensional materials possessing, as monolayers, properties making them suitable for use in transistors, solar cells, and other devices. Unlike materials restricted to single-layer size scales, organic ligands act to separate inorganic layers in mithrene. Additionally, because it is a bulk semiconductor, the process of incorporating mithrene into devices is easier. The hybrid material system’s tunable optical qualities holds promise within the field of optoelectronics.
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: The researchers achieved synthetic yields in excess of 250 mg and are scaling up to gram scale with the goal of creating pilot plants.
STATUS: Patent pending. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
SEE THESE OTHER BERKELEY LAB TECHNOLOGIES IN THIS FIELD:
Fast Scintillation Detectors Using Direct-Gap Semiconductors IB-1833