UK scientists claim to have developed a material called molybdenum disulphide (MoS2), which matches or exceeds the quality of graphene.
Graphene is an atomic-scale honeycomb lattice, which has become popular in the electronic industry. The properties of graphene include very good thermal conductivity and low electrical resistance; it is mechanically stretchable but still harder in comparison to diamond.
Researchers at the University of Southampton's Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) have announced that MoS2 has similar properties when compared to graphene. MoS2 is believed to offer excellent electronic conduction and mechanical strength. The material is made by combining sulphur with molybdenum.
"This new class of thin metal/sulphide materials, known as transition metal di-chalcogenides (TMDCs), has become an exciting complimentary material to graphene," the researchers said.
TMDCs also have the ability to emit light. The scientists reveal that the production of TMDCs, such as MoS2, had been difficult because previous techniques deployed produced only flakes, usually of small size.
Dr. Kevin Huang, lead researcher of the study, explains that they have been examining a mixture of chalcogenide materials with the help of the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process for a while. Dr. Huang says that the "technology has now achieved the fabrication of large area (>1000 mm2) ultra- thin films only a few atoms thick."
The researchers say that they are now able to produce MoS2 sheets in bigger sizes and not just in flakes.
Dr. Huang reveals that the researchers are also working with many UK-based companies as well as universities to understand more about MoS2. The researchers have also involved international centers such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Singapore-based Nanyang Technological University to research MoS2 further.
Graphene has been very helpful in the field of electronics. It will be interesting to see if MoS2 benefits the electronics industry soon.
The study has been published in the journal Nanoscale.