The IFN-UPR team presented its results in the journal Nanotechnology, where the group explains that the atomic structure shared by Sb2Se3 and Sb2S3 crystals consists of 1 nm wide and 0.2 nm thick nanoribbons weakly bonded between each other. The researchers have studied the isolation of such ribbons using advanced first-principles calculations to demonstrate the stability of the structures. They also report that the surface of the ribbons is virtually perfect due to the absence of dangling bonds. This translates into well defined energy band gaps of 1.66 eV for Sb2Se3 and 2.16 eV for Sb2S3 ribbons.

Moreover, the study shows that ribbons could be built interfacing Sb2Se3 with Sb2S3 sections, making a perfect sub-10 nm semiconducting heterostructure. They found a graded straddling type behavior of the valance band at the interface, but an abrupt straddling type response for the conduction one. Therefore, intrinsic electrons and holes would drift from the Sb2Se3 region to the interface, producing a modulated distribution of charge in equilibrium along the heterostructure length that could enable a number of emerging applications.

Additional information including a video of the molecular dynamics simulation can be found in the journal Nanotechnology.