Boris I. Yakobson - Rice University

Boris I. Yakobson
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Boris I. Yakobson
Rice University
United States

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Physics - Materials Science (26)
Physics - Mesoscopic Systems and Quantum Hall Effect (12)
Physics - Chemical Physics (7)
Physics - Computational Physics (3)
Physics - Statistical Mechanics (1)
Physics - Superconductivity (1)

Publications Authored By Boris I. Yakobson

Two-dimensional (2D) superconductors have attracted great attention in recent years due to the possibility of new phenomena in lower dimensions. With many bulk transition metal carbides being well-known conventional superconductors, here we perform first-principles calculations to evaluate the possible superconductivity in a 2D monolayer Mo$_2$C. Three candidate structures (monolayer alpha-Mo$_2$C, 1T MXene-Mo$_2$C, and 2H MXene-Mo$_2$C) are considered and the most stable form is found to be the 2H MXene-Mo$_2$C. Read More

We study the mechanical properties of two-dimensional (2D) boron, borophenes, by first-principles calculations. The recently synthesized borophene with 1/6 concentration of hollow hexagons (HH) is shown to have in-plane modulus C up to 210 N/m and bending stiffness as low as D = 0.39 eV. Read More

Current thermoelectric (TE) materials often have low performance or contain less abundant and/or toxic elements, thus limiting their large-scale applications. Therefore, new TE materials with high efficiency and low cost are strongly desirable. Here we demonstrate that, SiS and SiSe monolayers made from non-toxic and earth-abundant elements intrinsically have low thermal conductivities arising from their low-frequency optical phonon branches with large overlaps with acoustic phonon modes, which is similar to the state-of-the-art experimentally demonstrated material SnSe with a layered structure. Read More

Hydrogen is a promising energy carrier and key agent for many industrial chemical processes1. One method for generating hydrogen sustainably is via the hydrogen evolution reaction (HER), in which electrochemical reduction of protons is mediated by an appropriate catalyst-traditionally, an expensive platinum-group metal. Scalable production requires catalyst alternatives that can lower materials or processing costs while retaining the highest possible activity. Read More

Using detailed first-principles calculations, we investigate the hopping rate of vacancies in phosphorene, an emerging elemental 2D material besides graphene. Our work predicts that a direct observation of these mono-vacancies (MVs), showing a highly mobile and anisotropic motion, is possible only at low temperatures around 70 K or below where the thermal activity is greatly suppressed. At room temperature, the motion of a MV is sixteen orders faster than that in graphene, because of the low diffusion barrier of 0. Read More

Nano-materials, such as metal-organic frameworks, have been considered to capture CO$_2$. However, their application has been limited largely because they exhibit poor selectivity for flue gases and low capture capacity under low pressures. We perform a high-throughput screening for selective CO$_2$ capture from flue gases by using first principles thermodynamics. Read More

Van der Waals (vdW) solids, as a new type of artificial materials that consist of alternating layers bonded by weak interactions, have shed light on fascinating optoelectronic device concepts. As a result, a large variety of vdW devices have been engineered via layer-by-layer stacking of two-dimensional materials, although shadowed by the difficulties of fabrication. Alternatively, direct growth of vdW solids has proven as a scalable and swift way, highlighted by the successful synthesis of graphene/h-BN and transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) vertical heterostructures from controlled vapor deposition. Read More

Predicting the shape of grain boundaries is essential to control results of the growth of large graphene crystals. A global energy minimum search predicting the most stable final structure contradicts experimental observations. Here we present Monte Carlo simulation of kinetic formation of grain boundaries (GB) in graphene during collision of two growing graphene flakes. Read More

Carbon nanotubes (CNT) hold enormous technological promise. It can only be harnessed if one controls in a practical way the CNT chirality, the feature of the tubular carbon topology that governs all the CNT properties---electronic, optical, mechanical. Experiments in catalytic growth over the last decade have repeatedly revealed a puzzling strong preference towards minimally-chiral (near-armchair) CNT, challenging any existing hypotheses and turning chirality control ever more tantalizing yet leaving its understanding elusive. Read More

In graphene growth, island symmetry can become lower than the intrinsic symmetries of both graphene and the substrate. First-principles calculations and Monte Carlo modeling explain the shapes observed in our experiments and earlier studies for various metal surface symmetries. For equilibrium shape, edge energy variations $\delta E$ manifest in distorted hexagons with different ground-state edge structures. Read More

Monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides are promising materials for photoelectronic devices. Among them, molybdenum disulphide (MoS$_2$) and tungsten disulphide (WS$_2$) are some of the best candidates due to their favorable band gap values and band edge alignments. Here we consider various perturbative corrections to the DFT electronic structure, e. Read More

Many key performance characteristics of carbon-based lithium-ion battery anodes are largely determined by the strength of binding between lithium (Li) and sp2 carbon (C), which can vary significantly with subtle changes in substrate structure, chemistry, and morphology. Here, we use density functional theory calculations to investigate the interactions of Li with a wide variety of sp2 C substrates, including pristine, defective, and strained graphene; planar C clusters; nanotubes; C edges; and multilayer stacks. In almost all cases, we find a universal linear relation between the Li-C binding energy and the work required to fill previously unoccupied electronic states within the substrate. Read More

We present a site-percolation model based on a modified FCC lattice, as well as an efficient algorithm of inspecting percolation which takes advantage of the Markov stochastic theory, in order to study the percolation threshold of carbon nanotube (CNT) fibers. Our Markov-chain based algorithm carries out the inspection of percolation by performing repeated sparse matrix-vector multiplications, which allows parallelized computation to accelerate the inspection for a given configuration. With this approach, we determine that the site-percolation transition of CNT fibers occurs at p_c =0. Read More

Boron synthesis, in theory: Although two-dimensional boron sheets have attracted considerable interest because of their theoretically predicted properties, synthesis of such sheets remains a challenge. The feasibility of different synthetic methods for two-dimensional boron sheets was assessed using first-principles calculations, possibly paving the way towards its application in nanoelectronics. Read More

Nanomaterials are anticipated to be promising storage media, owing to their high surface-to-mass ratio. The high hydrogen capacity achieved by using graphene has reinforced this opinion and motivated investigations of the possibility to use it to store another important energy carrier - lithium (Li). While the first-principles computations show that the Li capacity of pristine graphene, limited by Li clustering and phase separation, is lower than that offered by Li intercalation in graphite, we explore the feasibility of modifying graphene for better Li storage. Read More

Monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides recently emerge as a new family of two-dimensional material potentially suitable for numerous applications in electronic and optoelectronic devices due to the presence of finite band gap. Many proposed applications require efficient transport of charge carriers within these semiconducting monolayers. However, how to construct a stable conducting nanoroad on these atomically thin semiconductors is still a challenge. Read More

Grain boundaries (GBs) are structural imperfections that typically degrade the performance of materials. Here we show that dislocations and GBs in two-dimensional (2D) metal dichalcogenides MX2 (M = Mo, W; X = S, Se) can actually improve the material by giving it a qualitatively new physical property: magnetism. The dislocations studied all have a substantial magnetic moment of ~1 Bohr magneton. Read More

We report an extensive study of the properties of carbyne using first-principles calculations. We investigate carbyne's mechanical response to tension, bending, and torsion deformations. Under tension, carbyne is about twice as stiff as the stiffest known materials and has an unrivaled specific strength of up to 7. Read More

First-principles calculations for carbyne under strain predict that the Peierls transition from symmetric cumulene to broken-symmetry polyyne structure is enhanced as the material is stretched. Interpretation within a simple and instructive analytical model suggests that this behavior is valid for arbitrary 1D metals. Further, numerical calculations of the anharmonic quantum vibrational structure of carbyne show that zero-point atomic vibrations alone eliminate the Peierls distortion in a mechanically free chain, preserving the cumulene symmetry. Read More

Single layered molybdenum disulfide with a direct bandgap is a promising two-dimensional material that goes beyond graphene for next generation nanoelectronics. Here, we report the controlled vapor phase synthesis of molybdenum disulfide atomic layers and elucidate a fundamental mechanism for the nucleation, growth, and grain boundary formation in its crystalline monolayers. Furthermore, a nucleation-controlled strategy is established to systematically promote the formation of large-area single- and few-layered films. Read More

The quasiparticle (QP) band structures of both strainless and strained monolayer MoS$_{2}$ are investigated using more accurate many body perturbation \emph{GW} theory and maximally localized Wannier functions (MLWFs) approach. By solving the Bethe-Salpeter equation (BSE) including excitonic effects on top of the partially self-consistent \emph{GW$_{0}$} (sc\emph{GW$_{0}$}) calculation, the predicted optical gap magnitude is in a good agreement with available experimental data. With increasing strain, the exciton binding energy is nearly unchanged, while optical gap is reduced significantly. Read More

A new dislocation structure-square-octagon pair (4|8) is discovered in two-dimensional boron nitride (h-BN), via first-principles calculations. It has lower energy than corresponding pentagon-heptagon pairs (5|7), which contain unfavorable homo-elemental bonds. Based on the structures of dislocations, grain boundaries (GB) in BN are investigated. Read More

The atomic structure and physical properties of few-layered <111> oriented diamond nanocrystals (diamanes), covered by hydrogen atoms from both sides are studied using electronic band structure calculations. It was shown that energy stability linear increases upon increasing of the thickness of proposed structures. All 2D carbon films display direct dielectric band gaps with nonlinear quantum confinement response upon the thickness. Read More

The nucleation of graphene on a transition metal (TM) surface, either on a terrace or near a step edge, is systematically explored using density functional theory (DFT) calculations and applying the two-dimensional (2D) crystal nucleation theory. Careful optimization of the supported carbon clusters, CN (with size N ranging from 1 to 24), on the Ni(111) surface indicates a ground state structure transformation from a one-dimensional (1D) C chain to a two-dimensional (2D) sp2 C network at N ~ 10-12. Furthermore, the crucial parameters controlling graphene growth on the metal surface, nucleation barrier, nucleus size, and the nucleation rate on a terrace or near a step edge, are calculated. Read More

Interfaces play a key role in low dimensional materials like graphene or its boron nitrogen analog, white graphene. The edge energy of h-BN has not been reported as its lower symmetry makes it difficult to separate the opposite B-rich and N-rich zigzag sides. We report unambiguous energy values for arbitrary edges of BN, including the dependence on the elemental chemical potentials of B and N species. Read More

Using ab initio methods we have investigated the fluorination of graphene and find that different stoichiometric phases can be formed without a nucleation barrier, with the complete "2D-Teflon" CF phase being thermodynamically most stable. The fluorinated graphene is an insulator and turns out to be a perfect matrix-host for patterning nanoroads and quantum dots of pristine graphene. The electronic and magnetic properties of the nanoroads can be tuned by varying the edge orientation and width. Read More

We have developed an effective model to investigate the energetic stability of hydrogenated group-IV nanostructures, followed by validations from first-principles calculations. It is found that the Hamiltonian of X$_{m}$H$_{n}$ (X=C, Si, Ge and Sn) can be expressed analytically by a linear combination of the atom numbers ($m$, $n$), indicating a dominating contribution of X$-$X and X$-$H local interactions. As a result, we explain the stable nanostructures observed experimentally, and provide a reliable and efficient technique of searching the magic structures of diamond nanocrystals(Dia-NCs) and Silicon quantum dots(SiQDs). Read More

The energy of arbitrary graphene edge is derived in analytical form. It contains a "chemical phase shift", determined by the chemical conditions at the edge. Direct atomistic computations support the universal nature of the relationship. Read More

A polycrystalline graphene consists of perfect domains tilted at angle {\alpha} to each other and separated by the grain boundaries (GB). These nearly one-dimensional regions consist in turn of elementary topological defects, 5-pentagons and 7-heptagons, often paired up into 5-7 dislocations. Energy G({\alpha}) of GB computed for all range 0<={\alpha}<=Pi/3, shows a slightly asymmetric behavior, reaching ~5 eV/nm in the middle, where the 5's and 7's qualitatively reorganize in transition from nearly armchair to zigzag interfaces. Read More