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Adv Mater ; 32(1): e1905504, 2020 Jan.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31736228


2D hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) is a wide-bandgap van der Waals crystal with a unique combination of properties, including exceptional strength, large oxidation resistance at high temperatures, and optical functionalities. Furthermore, in recent years hBN crystals have become the material of choice for encapsulating other 2D crystals in a variety of technological applications, from optoelectronic and tunneling devices to composites. Monolayer hBN, which has no center of symmetry, is predicted to exhibit piezoelectric properties, yet experimental evidence is lacking. Here, by using electrostatic force microscopy, this effect is observed as a strain-induced change in the local electric field around bubbles and creases, in agreement with theoretical calculations. No piezoelectricity is found in bilayer and bulk hBN, where the center of symmetry is restored. These results add piezoelectricity to the known properties of monolayer hBN, which makes it a desirable candidate for novel electromechanical and stretchable optoelectronic devices, and pave a way to control the local electric field and carrier concentration in van der Waals heterostructures via strain. The experimental approach used here also shows a way to investigate the piezoelectric properties of other materials on the nanoscale by using electrostatic scanning probe techniques.

ACS Nano ; 13(4): 3847-3857, 2019 Apr 23.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30816692


Multifunctional wearable e-textiles have been a focus of much attention due to their great potential for healthcare, sportswear, fitness, space, and military applications. Among them, electroconductive textile yarn shows great promise for use as next-generation flexible sensors without compromising the properties and comfort of usual textiles. However, the current manufacturing process of metal-based electroconductive textile yarn is expensive, unscalable, and environmentally unfriendly. Here we report a highly scalable and ultrafast production of graphene-based flexible, washable, and bendable wearable textile sensors. We engineer graphene flakes and their dispersions in order to select the best formulation for wearable textile application. We then use a high-speed yarn dyeing technique to dye (coat) textile yarn with graphene-based inks. Such graphene-based yarns are then integrated into a knitted structure as a flexible sensor and could send data wirelessly to a device via a self-powered RFID or a low-powered Bluetooth. The graphene textile sensor thus produced shows excellent temperature sensitivity, very good washability, and extremely high flexibility. Such a process could potentially be scaled up in a high-speed industrial setup to produce tonnes (∼1000 kg/h) of electroconductive textile yarns for next-generation wearable electronics applications.

Nat Commun ; 10(1): 987, 2019 02 25.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30804336


The original version of this Article contained an error in the spelling of the author Matthew Holwill, which was incorrectly given as Mathew Holwill. This has now been corrected in both the PDF and HTML versions of the Article.

Nat Commun ; 10(1): 230, 2019 01 16.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30651554


Despite a rich choice of two-dimensional materials, which exists these days, heterostructures, both vertical (van der Waals) and in-plane, offer an unprecedented control over the properties and functionalities of the resulted structures. Thus, planar heterostructures allow p-n junctions between different two-dimensional semiconductors and graphene nanoribbons with well-defined edges; and vertical heterostructures resulted in the observation of superconductivity in purely carbon-based systems and realisation of vertical tunnelling transistors. Here we demonstrate simultaneous use of in-plane and van der Waals heterostructures to build vertical single electron tunnelling transistors. We grow graphene quantum dots inside the matrix of hexagonal boron nitride, which allows a dramatic reduction of the number of localised states along the perimeter of the quantum dots. The use of hexagonal boron nitride tunnel barriers as contacts to the graphene quantum dots make our transistors reproducible and not dependent on the localised states, opening even larger flexibility when designing future devices.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 115(29): 7473-7478, 2018 07 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29970422


The van der Waals heterostructures, which explore the synergetic properties of 2D materials when assembled into 3D stacks, have already brought to life a number of exciting phenomena and electronic devices. Still, the interaction between the layers in such assembly, possible surface reconstruction, and intrinsic and extrinsic defects are very difficult to characterize by any method, because of the single-atomic nature of the crystals involved. Here we present a convergent beam electron holographic technique which allows imaging of the stacking order in such heterostructures. Based on the interference of electron waves scattered on different crystals in the stack, this approach allows one to reconstruct the relative rotation, stretching, and out-of-plane corrugation of the layers with atomic precision. Being holographic in nature, our approach allows extraction of quantitative information about the 3D structure of the typical defects from a single image covering thousands of square nanometers. Furthermore, qualitative information about the defects in the stack can be extracted from the convergent diffraction patterns even without reconstruction, simply by comparing the patterns in different diffraction spots. We expect that convergent beam electron holography will be widely used to study the properties of van der Waals heterostructures.