According to the paper, it is essential to understand the atomic structures of GBs in order to control and improve electrical transport properties in both bulk and low-dimensional materials. Grain boundaries are the direction that atoms are arranged in a material. For the experiments undertaken by scientists at CINAP, a monolayer molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) was grown by chemical vapour deposition (CVD) and subsequently transferred to a substrate of silicon dioxide (SiO2). The team's reasoning for using MoS2 is twofold: firstly, it is a 2D semiconductor that features high electrical conductance and, crucially, has a natural bandgap, which enables it to be tuned on and off and; secondly, the grain boundaries are well-defined. This is paramount for successful experiments. Previous research from Northwestern University found that the GBs of MoS2 provided a unique way to modulate resistance; this was achieved by using a large electric field to spatially modulate the location of the grain boundaries.
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