Completely new phenomena become possible with 2D materials - they are the central topic of the doctoral program "TU-D" at TU Wien, which is now being continued with funding from the FWF.
A material that consists of only a single layer of atoms does not have a clearly definable thickness - in this case, they are therefore referred to as "2D materials". They were first produced in 2004, and in 2010 the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded for them. At the TU Wien, research on such materials has been going on for years - both on their theoretical foundations and on their technological applications.
With the funding of the doctoral college "TU-D" by the Austrian Science Fund FWF, research and education in this field can now be further expanded. This is a highly interdisciplinary doctoral college: the faculties of Physics, Technical Chemistry, and Electrical Engineering and Information Technology at TU Wien will cooperate closely with each other.
More than just graphene
It all started with carbon: the first 2D material was graphene, a layer of carbon atoms arranged in a honeycomb pattern. Graphene is interesting for many applications - both its mechanical and electronic properties are highly unusual. But other 2D materials have since been discovered; they can also be sandwiched to create so-called heterostructures, which again have different properties.
"There are many possible applications for such 2D materials," says Prof. Florian Libisch from the Institute of Theoretical Physics at TU Wien - he is the coordinator of the new doctoral program. "2D materials have the potential to revolutionize entire fields of technology. In our doctoral college, we particularly want to explore their use for photovoltaics, nanoelectronics and biosensors."
TU Wien already launched the "TU-D" doctoral college on the topic of 2D materials in 2016. The Austrian Science Fund FWF now provides targeted funding for doctoral colleges that have already been successfully established by Austrian universities. Within the framework of this funding, "TU-D" can now be expanded: A total of about 30 new PhD students are to be trained in TU-D over the next 4 years - 10 of whom will be paid directly by the FWF as part of the application now being funded. Corresponding job advertisements will be available from spring 2023.