University of New Hampshire
Mentor: Dr. Karsten Pohl, Department of Physics
Syntheses of Novel Two Dimensional Materials: Graphene and Beyond
In this proposal we will search for new ways to create novel types of electronic materials, so-called two-dimensional (2D) materials and find ways to design and control their unique properties. The first created 2D material was graphene, it was discovered in the early 2000’s. Graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms with amazing properties and is considered one of the strongest materials there is, as well as one of the lightest, and the thinnest possible. The performance of current technological devices such as their energy efficiency can be dramatically improved thanks to graphene’s unique properties. The material is flexible, transparent, and it is one of the best conductors for heat and electricity. Graphene and other still to be discovered 2D materials can also take part in improving our ways of harnessing renewable energy and can play a great part in solving our energy crisis.
I am currently learning how to grow graphene in an ultra high vacuum chamber and to characterize the structure of this 2D material by scanning tunneling microscopy and low energy electron diffraction in the Pohl Lab in DeMeritt Hall at the University of New Hampshire. With the experience gained on campus in growing graphene I will later on travel to the University of Aarhus in Denmark. There, the research group of Professor Hofmann is one of the world leaders in synthesizing 2D materials beyond graphene. I will work with them and learn how to apply my expertise to growing novel 2D materials. Having the knowledge of synthesizing different types of 2D materials can lead to the ability of stacking a variety of these materials in order to dramatically improve current technological devices in terms of their capability and energy efficiency, for instance, in very energy-efficient and low-cost solar cells.