The terahertz (THz) region of the electromagnetic spectrum finds application in different areas such as security checks, biology, detection of drugs and explosives, imaging and astronomy. The state-of-the-art THz detectors lack high sensitivity, fast operation, and portability. The proposed work will explore the possibility of significantly advancing the THz radiation detection process by using 2D MXene materials combining advanced developments in two frontier research areas, 3D printing of 2D materials with dedicated investigation on their ultrafast far-field and near-field THz spectroscopic properties. MXenes are nanometer thick conductive sheets and their interaction with the THz radiation can be strengthened by arranging them into a 3D pattern. To address the concept of novel devices made of MXene sheets with enhanced light-matter interaction, I propose to develop 3D printing technology able to create a sample interaction area with specifically arranged 2D sheets in 3D structures exhibiting complex percolation pathways, where all the atoms will be exposed to the THz light. This will allow maximum photon absorption in the entire photoactive assembly and thereby maximum photocurrent generation.
The project will answer questions of key intrinsic parameters of layered MXenes (attached functional groups, doping, defects) and of the role of the 3D structuring for optimizing the THz response and, ultimately, to what extent the 3D printing of 2D MXenes can fill the THz gap in the development of novel devices.
Fields of science
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