Story 2014-03-11 3FJ Scientists Create LEDs Only Three Atoms Thick

Scientists Create LEDs Only Three Atoms Thick

in science on (#3FJ)
story imageScientists from the University of Washington have built the thinnest-known LED that can be used as a source of light energy in electronics. Most consumer electronics use three-dimensional LEDs, but these are 10 to 20 times thicker than the LEDs being developed by the UW.
The UW's LED is made from flat sheets of the molecular semiconductor known as tungsten diselenide, a member of a group of two-dimensional materials that have been recently identified as the thinnest-known semiconductors. Researchers use regular adhesive tape to extract a single sheet of this material from thick, layered pieces in a method inspired by the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics awarded to the University of Manchester for isolating one-atom-thick flakes of carbon, called graphene, from a piece of graphite.
In addition to light-emitting applications, this technology could open doors for using light as interconnects to run nano-scale computer chips instead of standard devices that operate off the movement of electrons, or electricity. The latter process creates a lot of heat and wastes power, whereas sending light through a chip to achieve the same purpose would be highly efficient.
Reply 9 comments

First Post (Score: -1, Troll)

by on 2014-03-11 16:12 (#EK)

Well, SoylentNews is down.

So I guess it's time to troll pipedot.

All your frosty piss are belong to us!

Re: First Post (Score: 2, Funny)

by on 2014-03-11 16:32 (#EV)

How can we worship single-digit UIDs when you do things like that? You've shattered my faith.

Re: First Post (Score: 3, Funny)

by on 2014-03-11 16:38 (#EW)

Consider it a test of your faith and/or the mod system...

Mod system: passed
Scott's faith: failed

Beware, for thou'rt strayed from the path, and thy UID mayest receive an additional digit if thou dost not reform thy ways.

Dick Tracy Wristband? (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2014-03-11 16:16 (#EM)

That's all I have. That and thinner Google Shades.

Wonder what the resolution could be on these (Score: 3, Interesting)

by on 2014-03-11 16:20 (#EP)

If they're only 3 atoms thick, how wide are they? And how cheap. How do you say television wallpaper?

2d vs 3d (Score: 4, Interesting)

by on 2014-03-11 16:20 (#ER)

So, at 3 atoms thick it magically becomes 2-dimensional? I'm fairly certain at 1 atom thick it still has depth. That depth would be 1 atom in thickness, but that's still more than 0.

Re: 2d vs 3d (Score: 5, Interesting)

by on 2014-03-11 16:41 (#EX)

That's true, but in many respects the interesting physics really does become 2 dimensional at that point. Conduction means electrons (or holes) moving through the material, and in that sense, there is one less degree of freedom to their motion. Even thicker materials can exhibit essentially 2-D electron behavior. So, while the materials are obviously three dimensional, the physical properties of interest are those of a 2-D system. (Weird, but then it's a quantum system so what do you expect?)

The real magic is this (Score: 1)

by on 2014-03-14 03:59 (#J1)

These LEDs emit a broad spectrum without the use of a phosphor, whereas normal LEDs are typically monochromatic.