Research Bits: Mar. 11

Ferroelectric nanosheets; superluminescent projection printing; supramolecular ink.


Ferroelectric nanosheets

Engineers from the University of Sydney, RMIT University, University of New South Wales, and University of Technology Sydney created a liquid metal alloy of tin, zirconium, and hafnium. The alloy has a thin oxide layer crust that enables it to be used to harvest ultra-thin tin oxide nanosheets doped with hafnium zirconium oxide, which could then be 2D printed on a substrate as ferroelectric nanosheets.

“Though hafnium zirconium oxide is a well-known ferroelectric material used in nanoscale applications, like memory devices and sensors, obtaining nanosheets using conventional techniques is both difficult and costly,” said Mohammad Ghasemian, a research fellow in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Sydney, in a release. “Think of it like a marble coated in ink. The alloy is like a solvent that allows us to remove that ink and then use it for printing. Our process allows us to harvest this precious crust layer and turn it into ultra-thin sheets, which are then used to manufacture electronics. It could be a new source of functional 2D materials which are not accessible by conventional methods. This process allows us to introduce ferroelectricity into much smaller, 2D metal oxides, allowing for the development of next generation nanoelectronics at low temperatures.” [1]

Superluminescent projection printing

Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology propose a method for printing nanoscale metal structures that is faster and less expensive than using high-intensity femtosecond lasers.

The projection-style printing technology uses superluminescent light emitting diodes (SLEDs) to generate sharply focused images with minimal defects. A clear metal salt ink solution was developed that underwent a chemical conversion to metal when exposed to the light source, creating a metal nanostructure on top of the glass substrate.

The method can be used to create an entire complex metallic nanostructure in one exposure, with potential applications in electronics, optics, and plasmonics. [2]

Supramolecular ink

Researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and University of California Berkeley developed a stable “supramolecular ink” that could be used to for OLED displays in televisions, smartphones, light fixtures, and wearable devices.

The ink consists of powders containing hafnium and zirconium that can be mixed in solution at low temperatures, causing molecular structures within the ink to self-assemble into supramolecular composites that are highly efficient emitters of blue and green light. The material is suitable for programmable, fast-switching electronic displays and is compatible with 3D printing technologies, such as for decorative OLED lighting or wearables. [3]


[1] M. B. Ghasemian, A. Zavabeti, F.-M. Allioux, P. Sharma, M. Mousavi, M. A. Rahim, R. Khayyam Nekouei, J. Tang, A. J. Christofferson, N. Meftahi, S. Rafiezadeh, S. Cheong, P. Koshy, R. D. Tilley, C. F. McConville, S. P. Russo, C. Ton-That, J. Seidel, K. Kalantar-Zadeh, Liquid Metal Doping Induced Asymmetry in Two-Dimensional Metal Oxides. Small 2024, 2309924.

[2] J. Choi, S. K. Saha, Scalable Printing of Metal Nanostructures through Superluminescent Light Projection. Adv. Mater. 2024, 36, 2308112.

[3] Cheng Zhu et al., Supramolecular assembly of blue and green halide perovskites with near-unity photoluminescence. Science 383, 86-93 (2024).

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