A team of Foundry staff and users have developed a simple, inexpensive method to make black phosphorus nanosheets, opening the door to large-scale production and further exploration of the material’s properties. BP has the potential for applications in optoelectronics, biomedicine, and other fields.
Two-dimensional black phosphorus (BP), also called “phosphorene” due to its similarity to graphene, is a promising as a 2-D semiconductor material. Unlike graphene, BP has a band gap that enables it to conduct electricity, and it has other properties that give it advantages over other 2-D materials like transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs). BP has a smaller band gap than TMDCs and can absorb and emit light through the visible to infrared spectrum.
Previous methods for synthesizing BP required high temperature (1000 ˚C) and pressure (1 Gigapascal), making the process both time consuming and expensive. Additionally, the exfoliation procedure used to make BP into nanosheets caused the material to degrade rapidly and lose its semiconducting properties.
The new method is conceptually simple and can be done at low temperatures, allowing it to be performed in common chemical laboratories, and the material produced is more stable than before.