Signature approach reveals prized property in nanoscopic material

A rendering of a nanoscopically thin polymer (semitransparent blue) atop a semiconductor known as rhenium disulfide (blue and yellow atoms). By layering the materials, then flipping the polarization of a narrow sliver (green) within the polymer, Nebraska’s Xia Hong and colleagues have managed to more precisely control the flow of electricity and demonstrate a technologically important property of the rhenium disulfide. Credit: Dawei Li and Xia Hong

It took a nanoscale construction project on par with the much larger ones peppering Nebraska highways, but physicist Xia Hong is now directing the haphazard traffic of electrons well enough to analyze it—and, down the road, put it to use in…

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