Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University have discovered a two-dimensional material whose properties are very similar to those of graphene, but with some distinct advantages.
The researchers say the new material, which is a combination of nickel and an organic compound called HITP, has constituents that naturally assemble themselves in a "bottom-up" approach that could lend itself to easier manufacturing and tuning of desired properties by adjusting relative amounts of the ingredients. Multiple layers of the material naturally form perfectly aligned stacks, with the openings at the centers of the hexagons all of precisely the same size.
According to the researchers, HITP is just the first of what could be a diverse family of similar materials built from different metals or organic compounds. MIT professor Mircea Dinca says these types of materials could be used in solar cells whose ability to capture different wavelengths of light could be matched to the solar spectrum, or to improved supercapacitors, which can store electrical energy until it is needed.
The researchers say HITP also could be used for basic research on the properties of matter, for the creation of exotic materials such as magnetic topological insulators, and for materials that exhibit quantum Hall effects.
From MIT News
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