Physics and Astronomy

Dr. Jian He and Collaborators Develop a Ductile van der Waals Inorganic Semiconductor

Dr. Jian He of the Department of Physics & Astronomy Clemson is a corresponding author of a Science article describing a new van der Waals inorganic semiconductor. The van der Waals inorganic semiconductors are generally brittle and prone to cleavage in its bulk form at room temperature. However, an international team of scientists found that this is not always the case. In a recent article entitled “Exceptional plasticity in the bulk single-crystalline van der Waals semiconductor InSe” published in Science , the authors show that bulk single crystalline InSe can be morphed into simple origami, Mobius ring, engineeringly strained to 80% in compression, > 10% in tensile and bending strain along specific direction, without losing the structural integrity. The peculiar long-range Coulomb interaction across the van der Waals gap plays a key role in the observed bulk superplastic deformability. The scientific and technical implications of this discovery include flexible and plastic electronics, sensors, and energy harvesting devices.  A perspective article, “Ductile van der Waals materials”, was published in the same journal issue to highlight this discovery.

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