Semiconductors to become one atom thin

silicon-waferScientists at North Carolina State University (NC State) have released research which allows the transfer of one atom thin semiconductor films onto arbitrary substrates.

The researchers claim that the method will perfectly transfer the thin films from one substrate to another, without defects.

The material in question used for the thin films is molybdenum sulphide (MoS2) which is inexpensive and has similar optical and electronic properties to existing semiconductor materials.

Dr Linyou Cao, a professor at NC State, said: “The ultimate goal is to use these atomic layer semiconducting thin films to create devices that are extremely flexible, but to do that we need to transfer the thin films from the substance we used to make it to a flexible substrate.”  He added that the thin film can’t be made on a flexible substrate because they won’t tolerate the high temperatures required.

The MoS2 films can be up to five centimetres in diameter and the scientists found a way to move the thin film without wrinkling it or crackling it.

Existing tech for transferring thin films from one substrate to another use chemical etching but that can contaminate the film.

The researchers said that the thin film uses room termperature water and a pair of tweezers.

The University has started work on developing devices that use the tech the scientists invented.