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Supercomputer will explain the irradiation damage in inorganic 2D materials

The results give better understanding of the interaction of energetic electrons and matter.

A project led by Docent Arkady Krasheninnikov has been awarded 16 million core hours on the Hazel Hen supercomputer in Germany. The research group will carry out computer simulations of irradiation effects in two-dimensional (2D) inorganic materials, such as transition metal dichalcogenides.

2D materials have recently been in the research focus due to their unusual properties and potential applications. Among them, transition metal dichalgogenides hold particular promise for the use in nanoelectronics, photonics, and energy applications due to a unique combination of electronic, optical, and mechanical characteristics.

2D materials are routinely characterized now using transmission electron microscopes. Energetic electrons damage the samples, but this can also be used in a beneficial way. Thus,  understanding the interaction of the energetic electrons with matter is the key to tailoring materials structure and properties.

“As the electron beam can damage the inorganic sample, we aim to optimize the interaction between electrons and the inorganic materials, and even to utilize the damage caused”, explains Dr. Hannu-Pekka Komsa, an Academy Fellow, who is also involved in the project.

The results will explain in particular the development of the irradiation damage in inorganic 2D materials under electron beam and suggest new routes to electron-beam-mediated engineering of material properties or even creation of new materials.

Close collaboration with several leading experimental groups will enable an immediate verification and implementation of the theoretical concepts in state-of-the-art experiments.

More information:

Hannu-Pekka Komsa
Academy Fellow
Department of Applied Physics
Aalto University

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