Siligraphene gets serious about solar cells


A charge density map reveals delocalised π bonds in SiC7 siligraphene's irregular hexagonal rings

Theoretical scientists have predicted SiC7 – a new phase of the graphene–silicene hybrid siligraphene, which if synthesisable, could revolutionise flexible optoelectronic devices such as solar cells.

The semimetallic nature of graphene, as well as its silicon counterpart silicene, significantly restricts its widespread use in nano-electronics. Now, calculations from a team led by Youyong Li at Soochow University, China, and Liujiang Zhou at the University of Bremen, Germany, have put forward a new 2D semiconductor material made from carbon and silicon.

SiC7 siligraphene has an interesting structure with a graphene-like honeycomb lattice, but unlike graphene, its hexagonal rings are irregular. The scientists expect SiC7 siligraphene to be much better than SiC2 siligraphene and single-layer black phosphorus at absorbing sunlight. Additionally, broken symmetry caused by silicon doping would create band gaps that boost its optoelectronic properties.

References

This article is free to access until 20 April 2016

H Dong et al, Nanoscale, 2016, DOI: 10.1039/c6nr00046k


Related Content

Beyond graphene

3 January 2014 Feature

news image

Other materials can be made into ultra-thin nanosheets. Jon Evans finds out whether they can generate the same buzz

Sunset for perovskites?

4 May 2016 Research

news image

Calculations cast shadow over solar cell materials

Most Commented

WHO clarifies glyphosate risks

23 May 2016 Business

news image

UN and WHO panel conclude the herbicide glyphosate is ‘unlikely’ to cause cancer at realistic exposure levels

Crawling chemical system acts as if it’s alive

24 May 2016 Research

news image

Intriguing globule that moves, eats and defecates