University of Washington focus on WSe2
Researchers from the University of Washington are also focusing on WSe2, and their project has enabled them to claim to have built the thinnest-known LED that can be used as a source of light energy in electronics.
“We are able to make the thinnest-possible LEDs, only three atoms thick yet mechanically strong. Such thin and foldable LEDs are critical for future portable and integrated electronic devices,” explained Xiaodong Xu, an assistant professor in materials science and engineering and in physics at the university.
Xu co-authored a paper about the technology, along with Jason Ross, a UW materials science and engineering graduate student.
Three-dimensional LEDs are typically 10 to 20 times thicker than the LEDs being developed by the University of Washington team.
The research team is working on more efficient ways to create the thin LEDs and looking at what happens when two-dimensional materials are stacked in different ways. Additionally, these materials have been shown to react with polarized light in new ways that no other materials can, and researchers will continue to pursue those applications.
Vienna University of Technology focus on WSe2
A team of researchers at the Vienna University of Technology has also been experimenting with tungsten diselenide, and their work is focused at the development of ultrathin flexible solar cells.
The Austrian research team has been studying graphene-like materials that can be arranged in ultrathin layers in a way that could build solar cells.
The Vienna University of Technology chose to use tungsten diselenide because it comprises a single layer of tungsten atoms that are connected by selenium atoms above and below the tungsten plane. Similar to graphene, WSe2 absorbs light, but the latter material can also be used to create electrical power.
As much as 95% of light passes through the WSe2 layer, but a tenth of the remaining 5%, which is absorbed by the material, can be converted into electrical power, which means that WSe2-based solar cell layers could, in the future, be integrated into glass facades that could allow part of the light into the building while creating electricity at the same time.
This story originally appeared on EE Times Europe.