Research evaluates combination of graphene and hexagonal boron nitride for opto-electronic devices of the future
The latest frontier of photonics is the production of nanoscale devices capable of transmitting information by means of light signals, called nanophotonic or optoelectronic devices. When compared to the already established electronic components, the new nanodevices will carry a greater volume of information at a faster pace.
Today, several research groups around the world are dedicated to building ultrathin photonic devices with outstanding performance. However, such development requires materials that have appropriate characteristics, besides being efficient and inexpensive.
One of the materials of interest is graphene, formed by a single layer of carbon atoms obtained from graphite. Graphene is a conductor with excellent properties that can be easily altered by applying electric fields or light. In addition, several other interesting structural, electronic and optical properties can be obtained by combining graphene with other materials. One of these combinations under study is the system formed by graphene in contact with a hexagonal boron nitride crystal (hBN), also a few molecules thick. This system allows the control of light transport on a nanometer scale.
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