Through the National Science Foundation's Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) program, Penn State was awarded $4 million over the next four years to lead two teams of investigators and support members of a third team in the new field of 2D crystals and layered materials.
A material that is only a single atomic-layer thick can have completely different properties than its bulk counterpart. A new field of nanoscale science and engineering is emerging to study the wide variety of two-dimensional materials and what happens when they are stacked one on top of the other. Potential applications include energy harvesting and storage, sensing, electronics and photonics, and bioengineering.
"There is a lot of interest in 2D materials beyond graphene, especially when considering stacking to form heterostructures because they can lead to phenomenal properties," said Joshua Robinson, Corning Faculty Fellow of Materials Science and Engineering and associate director of Penn State's Center for Two-dimensional and Layered Materials (2DLM). "I think we have a variety of excellent ideas in these novel materials, which is why we did so well with the EFRI."