A team of researchers discovered a method to manipulate nanoscale chemical interfaces of materials to perform electrical transformations within a single material.
Significance and Impact
The new method provides an interface-engineering technique that can precisely manipulate a material’s electronic properties, allowing for the creation of single-material devices. The results open the door for new types of thermoelectric materials, light emitting devices, and electronic logic.
- The researchers’ method transforms p-type materials into n-type materials using atomically thin interface modulation. This enables new avenues for research in electronic materials – e.g. materials which were never considered suitable for thermoelectrics can be transformed into promising candidates that can compete with the current state of the art.
- They employed a surface modulation approach to surface dope tellurium nanowires with small molecules in solution.
- At high doping concentrations, they obtained n-type tellurium nanowires from a system that was formerly p-type.
- Thin films made from new nanowires were shown to be stable for days under constant operation and can be integrated into flexible substrates.