Move over graphene, there is competition in town. A new type of two-dimensional materials – with the far less appealing family name, transition metal dichalcogenides – are increasingly gaining attention. Well, at least they’re giving it a shot. Graphene, a sheet of carbon atoms only one atomic layer thick, still has plenty going for itself in terms of electronic, optical and mechanical properties. There seems nothing that graphene can’t do.
On the other hand, there are also limits. When it comes to its electronic properties graphene is not a semiconductor in the same was as silicon is. It is lacking a bandgap, a gap in its electronic states that is important for light emitters and for some electronic devices.
Transition metal dichalcogenides offer an advantage there. They are semiconductors, and they can have a bandgap.