Alumnus' research on 2D materials published in Springer Theses book series

May 03, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A Penn State graduate’s doctoral research on two-dimensional (2D) materials soon may help students build a better understanding of the field.

Yu-Chuan Lin, a 2017 graduate of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, had his thesis published in a recent edition of the Springer Theses book series, which collects top doctoral research from across the physical sciences.

“The book should be a great resource for graduate students who want to understand the basic perspective and properties of 2D materials and the various different ways they can be stacked,” said Joshua Robinson, associate professor of materials science and engineering and Lin’s adviser at Penn State.

Lin said he hopes the ideas presented in the book can contribute to ongoing research and provide fresh insights for those working in the field.

“To receive an award that from a publisher I admire so much and read so much about makes me happy and grateful,” he said. “It means the publisher sees the work reported in my thesis represents a significant scientific advance in the field of two-dimensional materials.”

Ultra-thin 2D materials, made up of a single layer of atoms, hold the potential to revolutionize electronics applications like semiconductors, transistors, solar cells and digital screens.

Lin, now a postdoctoral researcher at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, studies the properties of these materials and how to stack them like building blocks to create ideal properties for use in electronic devices.

Robinson said when Lin came to Penn State in 2013, the pair could not find materials constructed at a high enough quality for their research, so they began making their own.

“Yu Chuan was really excited about understanding heterostructures, but no one was growing them, so he started to make his own to really understand the properties with a goal of getting electronic grade 2D materials that could ultimately be used in electronic devices,’” Robinson said.

Lin began focusing on how stacking different 2D materials can led to new, desired properties.

“It’s sort of like playing with Legos,” Robinson said. “Individual pieces have certain properties, and when different colored and sized Legos are stacked upon one another, they can create something else entirely.”

Universities select top theses to submit for inclusion in the series. Robinson nominated Lin’s work for the recognition. Springer selects theses that demonstrate scientific excellence and wide impact, according to the publisher’s website. The series aims to be accessible to non-specialists but also answer the questions of researchers seeking specific information. 

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Last Updated May 03, 2019