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Black Phosphorus Band Gap Successfully Tuned


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For years researchers have been working hard to find applications for graphene, but one of its properties has long posed a challenge. Graphene is an excellent conductor and not a semiconductor as one wants for use in advanced electronics. Graphene did still start a revolution by leading researchers to hunt for other 2D materials that may be useful, and researchers at the Institute for Basic Science have recently made an important discovery to that end.

Black phosphorus is like graphene in that it can be made two dimensional, but it is a natural semiconductor in this state. This means a current running through it can be switched on and off as needed. By doping it with electrons from potassium, the researchers were able to tune its bandgap, the distance between the conducting and nonconducting electron energy levels. Normally 2D black phosphorus, or phosphorene, has a bandgap of 0.35 electron Volts, but the researchers were able to change it to values between 0 and 0.6 eV.

This ability to tune black phosphorus' bandgap opens up many new possibilities for it, as others could use it in specially designed devices.

Source: Institute for Basic Science

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