Step right up for bigger 2D sheets

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Rice University theory shows how monocrystals of hexagonal boron nitride come together
Very small steps make a big difference to researchers who want to create large wafers of two-dimensional material. Rice materials theorist Boris Yakobson and researcher Ksenia Bets led the construction of simulations that show atom-sized steps on a growth surface, or substrate, have the remarkable ability to keep monolayer crystal islands in alignment as they grow.

Rice University researchers determined complementarity between growing hexagonal boron nitride crystals and a stepped substrate mimics the complementarity found in strands of DNA. Illustration by Ksenia Bets