Unlocking Future Technologies in the Two-dimensional World
A two-dimensional (2D) material is the thinnest material humans have ever made. It is no more than a few atoms in thickness—one million times thinner than a piece of paper.
Recent interest in 2D materials is largely driven by Moore’s law: the observation by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore that every year the number of transistors on a chip will double while the costs are halved. In other words, the transistor size will be halved continuously. Over the past decade, such scaling has led to a revolution in information technology. In 2017, the smallest commercially available transistor was seven nanometres in size. (One nanometer is a billionth of a metre.) Within a few years, future transistors are going to hit the atomic limit—and 2D materials are expected to play a major role.
Dr. Ziliang Ye, Canadian Research Chair in Condensed Matter Physics, is probing the electronic structure and optical properties of 2D materials using light to build the foundation for applications such as smarter computers, faster Internet and new wearable electronic devices.
Ye’s focus is on developing novel optical imaging techniques to explore the material’s intrinsic response at an unprecedented resolution. He and his research team are also probing and controlling the material with ultra-intense laser light of femtosecond (one million billionth of a second) duration. This allows them to explore pathways to future technologies, such as quantum computers and quantum Internet.
Alongside rapid developments in 2D materials, Ye’s research promises to trigger the next revolution in information technology.