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New energy-friendly optoelectronics theory.

Researchers at Queen's University Belfast and ETH Zurich, Switzerland, have together created a new theoretical framework which could help physicists and device engineers design better optoelectronics, leading to less heat generation and power consumption in electronic devices which source, detect and control light.

The research will enable scientists and engineers to guantify how transparent a 2D material is to an electrostatic field. Dr Elton Santos from the Atomistic Simulation Research Centre at Queen's, said: "We have developed a theoretical framework that predicts and guantifies the degree of 'transparency' up to the limit of one-atom-thick, 2D materials, to an electrostatic field. Imagine we can change the transparency of a material just using an electric bias, e.g. get darker or brighter at will. What kind of implications would this have, for instance, in mobile phone technologies?"

Having microscopic control over the distribution of charged carriers in a bulk semiconductor in a non-linear manner would help device engineers to design better quantum capacitors, an array of subatomic power storage components capable of high-energy densities, for instance, in batteries, and vertical transistors, leading to next-generation optoelectronics with lower power consumption and dissipation of heat (cold devices), and better performance.

Explaining how the theory could have important implications for future work in the area, Santos added: "Our current model simply considers an interface formed between a layer of 2D material and a bulk semiconductor. In principle, our approach can be readily extended to a stack of multiple 2D materials. This will allow us to design and predict the behaviour of these cutting-edge devices prior to actual fabrication, which will significantly facilitate developments for a variety of applications while reducing the need for expensive lab work and test trials."

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Title Annotation:DESIGN IDEAS
Publication:Environmental Engineering
Date:Oct 1, 2016
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