Scientists discovered a method to make atomically flat gallium, according to a study conducted on March 9, 2018.
Two-dimensional gallenene was created by scientist Pulickel Ajayan and colleagues. An affinity for binding with semi-conductors was observed in the two-dimensional gallenene. According to the researchers, it can efficiently make metal contact in two-dimensional electronic devices. There were few problems faced by the research team, as melting point of gallium is low. Also, they oxidize quickly and bonds between gallium layers are difficult to be broken. Therefore, heat was used instead of force.
Initially, the bulk gallium was heated up to 29.7 degree Celsius. Then, a drop of gallium was put on a glass slide. Once that drop cooled, a piece of silicon dioxide was pressed on top so that few layers of gallenene could be lifted. Gallenene was then exfoliated onto other substrates such as silicone and nickel. This made it easier for the researchers to come to a conclusion that different electronic properties can be exhibited by these gallenene-substrate combinations.
Chandra Sekhar Tiwary, assistant professor at the Indian Institute of Technology said, “The current work utilizes the weak interfaces of solids and liquids to separate thin 2-D sheets of gallium. The same method can be explored for other metals and compounds with low melting points.” Researchers are investigating on its properties, which include plasmonic properties. The requirement for metals in the 2-D world can be satisfied by gallenene, as other 2-D metals are high-strength, nonlayered structures. This new method to make flat gallium will be useful in the field of nanoscale electronics.