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The graphic illustrates how the high-energy electron beam from a scanning electron microscope is used to functionalize transition metal dichalcogenides, or TMDs. Air Force Research Laboratory, or AFRL, researchers from the Materials and Manufacturing Directorate contributed this work to the February 2023 ACS Nano publication “Precision Modification of Monolayer Transition Metal Dichalcogenides via Environmental E‑Beam Patterning.” TMDs are a specific class of two-dimensional layered materials essential for the development of emerging sensing and electronic technologies for the Department of the Air Force and commercial market. The example shows hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O) atoms as they are added to TMD atomic layers consisting of sulfur (S), selenium (Se), Molybdenum (Mo) and tungsten (W) to functionalize them. The electron beam removes atoms from the TMD, causing a chemical reaction that emits light and heat which can be harnessed for use in sensing and other technologies. (U.S. Air Force graphic)
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