Data Driven Discovery of Synthesis Pathways and Distinguishing Electronic Phenomena of 1D Van der Waals Bonded Solids
Bulk crystals of graphite and other materials composed of 2-dimensional van der Waals (vdW) layers exhibit numerous important properties in the bulk that are preserved as the material is thinned to atomic thickness, e.g. the high electrical conductivity of graphene. This distinguishes them from native bulk materials that do not exhibit such vdW layered structure, such as copper, whose properties change dramatically as it is thinned below a few atomic layers. Unlike 2D layered materials, the 1-dimensional vdW materials of this project have received relatively little research attention, but are likely to exhibit many of the useful properties of their 2D counterparts. One hypothesis is that the presence of vdW gaps and the absence of dangling bonds and large single crystal domains inhibits carrier scattering at the surface of such materials and, thus, allows for electronic transport at a resistivity almost independent of wire cross section. Recent synthesis work by the project participants has revealed excellent transport properties of such materials when thinned to nanoscale cross sections, rivaling the favorable characteristics of the native bulk form of copper, with potential applications in the miniaturization of electronic devices. Another hypothesis is that these materials may be more likely to exhibit electronic or structural phase changes that can be engineered for low power electronic memories and other applications.