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Focus Areas

In order to achieve the Center Goals, a series of broad tasks guide the principles of the Center. These tasks are broken into three branches:

Experimental Branch

  • Synthesis of 2-D layered materials by chemical vapor deposition, atomic layer deposition, and chemical and mechanical exfoliation. Synthesis of different morphologies such as nanoribbons, 2D-clusters and sheets will be achieved. Novel optimized synthesis methods for producing large quantities of 2-D layered materials will be developed. Novel doped 2-D layered materials will also be synthesized.
  • Advanced characterization of the 2-D layered materials push the limits of the current facilities available at the MRI, and help the development of novel characterization equipment not found commercially. The following techniques will be used: Aberration corrected high resolution transmission electron microscopy (AC-HRTEM), high resolution scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy (STM and STS), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), atomic force microscopy (AFM), Raman spectroscopy, Tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS), Near-field Scanning Optical Microscopy (NSOM), X-Ray, diffraction and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), etc.
  • Development of novel device architectures based on controlling the number and composition of individual layers. Using focused ion beam (FIB), lithographic techniques, bottom-up techniques, and directed assembly techniques, new devices such as tunnel field effect transistors, SyMFETs, valleytronic structures, and various new optoelectronic devices will be investigated.
  • Patent and commercialization of the products obtained. The Center is in close contact with various industries, nationally and worldwide, in order to establish partnerships able to provide funding for the development of prototypes and devices.

Theoretical Branch

  • Simulate new systems based on 2-D layered materials to guide experimentalists to synthesize them.
  • Work synergistically with the experimental branch via biweekly meetings in order to perform multiscale computations on the properties of the 2-D layered materials being synthesized. The calcuations will include first principles with differenct corrections and methodologies, molecular dynamics, force fields, etc. The main idea is to cover the properties of these materials at different levels depending on the properties experimentally measured. Experimentalists will be provided with theoretical spectroscopy results to compare with the experiments carried out by Penn State researchers.
  • Software development and use of existing software at Penn State.

Education Branch

  • Develop close relationships with the Penn State MRSEC and MRI outreach programs.
  • Perform additional outreach activities to attract underrepresented students and faculty to the Center.
  • Design a new graduate multidisciplinary graduate program in which different Departments participate.