Arsenic–Phosphorus Alloy Nanoribbons Unlock Potential for Batteries, Solar Cells, and Quantum Computing
New Nanomaterials Creation
- Phosphorus and arsenic alloy to form highly conductive, thin ribbons for advanced tech.
Improving Phosphorus Conductivity
- Alloying phosphorus with arsenic enhances its usability and electrical conductivity.
Production and Structure
- AsPNRs created by mixing phosphorus, arsenic, and lithium in specific conditions, forming one-atom-thick ribbons.
AsPNRs exhibit high electrical conductivity and exceptional “hole mobility.”
They unexpectedly display magnetic properties, promising for quantum computing.
AsPNRs can potentially boost energy storage and charging speed in batteries.
They can improve charge flow and efficiency in solar cells.
Alloying offers a potent tool for controlling nanomaterial properties and applications.
Scalable production of AsPNRs for cost-effective deployment across various uses.
Research team of Adam J. Clancy & Christopher A. Howard, University College London has created a new nanomaterial by alloying phosphorus and arsenic to form highly conductive nanoribbons just one atom thick. This innovation makes them promising candidates to enhance next-generation batteries, solar cells, and quantum computers.
On its own, phosphorus has poor electrical conductivity, limiting its practical applications. But when alloyed with traces of arsenic, its properties are transformed. Researchers from University College London synthesized these arsenic-phosphorus alloy nanoribbons (AsPNRs) using a specialized chemical cracking process.
In 2019, the researchers had discovered the potential of phosphorus nanoribbons for improving solar cells’ energy harvesting from sunlight when added as a layer.In their current study, they sandwiched phosphorus-arsenic sheets between layers of lithium at -58°F (-50°C) for 24 hours. After 24 hours, the ammonia solvent was removed and replaced with an organic solvent. This caused the sheets to crack into ribbons as the lithium ions could only move in one direction.
The researchers found the AsPNRs retained useful properties of pure phosphorus nanoribbons but with vastly improved conductivity, especially above 130 K (-226°F/-140°C). They exhibited extremely high “hole mobility,” allowing electrical current to flow efficiently.
Unlike pure phosphorus, the AsPNRs would not need to be paired with conductive fillers to be incorporated into batteries. Their superior charge transport abilities could enable faster charging batteries with more storage capacity.
The nanoribbons’ enhanced conductivity also unlocks their potential for more efficient solar cells. And their unexpected magnetism makes them promising for emerging quantum computing applications.
This demonstrates the power of nanoscale alloying to engineer materials with customizable properties tailored to different uses – from energy harvesting to high-performance electronics and sensors. The simple production process allows scalable manufacturing for widespread commercial adoption.
Keywords: solar cell, AsPNRs
Figure 1. a) Describes the crystal structure of bAsP, emphasizing the random arrangement of As/P atoms, with AsPNR having the same basal plane structure. b) Shows the pXRD patterns of bAsP and Li(AsP)9. c) Displays the UV-Vis spectrum of AsPNR in DMF, accompanied by a cuvette inset. d) Presents the Raman spectra of (i) bAsP, (ii) Li(AsP)9, and (iii) AsPNRs drop-cast from DMF solution onto silicon.
Figure5. A log−log J−V plot of hole only SCLC devices with the architectures ITO/PEDOT:PSS/PTAA/AuandITO/PEDOT:PSS/PTAA/AsPNR/Au.