A snapshot of silicene (shown in yellow), a 2-D material made up of silicon atoms, as it grows on iridium substrate (shown in red). The image was taken from a molecular dynamics simulation, which Argonne researchers used to predict the growth and evolution of silicene. (Image courtesy of Joseph Insley / Argonne National Laboratory.)

Topics: Computer Science, Graphene, Materials Science, Nanotechnology

Alliteration source: "The Unbearable Lightness of Being," by Milan Kundera.

The remarkable properties of 2-D materials — made up of a single layer of atoms — have made them among the most intensely studied materials of our time. They have the potential to usher in a new generation of improved electronics, batteries and sensory devices, among other applications.

One obstacle to realizing applications of these materials is the cost and time needed for experimental studies. However, computer simulations are helping researchers overcome this challenge in order to accurately characterize material structures and functions at an accelerated pace.

At the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, researchers have simulated the growth of silicene, a 2-D material with attractive electronic properties. Their work, published in Nanoscale, delivers new and useful insights on the material’s properties and behavior and offers a predictive model for other researchers studying 2-D materials.

The flat and the curious, Joan Koka, Argonne National Laboratories

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