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Layered functional materials - beyond 'graphene' (BEGMAT)
Start date: Aug 1, 2016, End date: Jul 31, 2021 PROJECT  ONGOING 

There is an apparent lack of non-metallic 2D-matrials for the construction of electronic devices, as only five materials of the “graphene family” are known: graphene, hBN, BCN, fluorographene, and graphene oxide – none of them with a narrow bandgap close to commercially used silicon. This ERC-StG proposal, BEGMAT, outlines a strategy for design, synthesis, and application of layered, functional materials that will go beyond this exclusive club. These materials “beyond graphene” (BEG) will have to meet – like graphene – the following criteria: (1) The BEG-materials will feature a transfer of crystalline order from the molecular (pm-range) to the macroscopic level (cm-range), (2) individual, free-standing layers of BEG-materials can be addressed by mechanical or chemical exfoliation, and (3) assemblies of different BEG-materials will be stacked as van der Waals heterostructures with unique properties. In contrast to the existing “graphene family”, (4) BEG-materials will be constructed in a controlled way by covalent organic chemistry in a bottom-up approach from abundant precursors free of metals and critical raw materials (CRMs). Moreover – and unlike – many covalent organic frameworks (COFs), (5) BEG-materials will be fully aromatic, donor-acceptor systems to ensure that electronic properties can be addressed on macroscopic scale. The potential to make 2D materials “beyond graphene” is a great challenge to chemical bond formation and material design. In 2014 the applicant has demonstrated the feasibility of the concept to expand the “graphene family” with triazine-based graphitic carbon, a compound highlighted as an “emerging competitor for the miracle material” graphene. Now, the PI has the opportunity to build a full-scale research program on layered functional materials that offers unique insights into controlled, covalent linking-chemistry, and that addresses practicalities in device manufacture, and structure-properties relationships.
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