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Growing Crystals With a Twist

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Science  18 Apr 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5311, pp. 356
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5311.356

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Summary

SAN FRANCISCO-- Growing a defect-free crystal on a supporting substrate for computer chips is notoriously difficult: Mismatches between the atomic lattice pattern of the crystal and substrate causes strain to build up, triggering cracks in the crystal. But now researchers have found a way to ease the strain. At the Materials Science Research meeting here 2 weeks ago, scientists reported that a thin, flexible film sandwiched between the two layers will absorb the growing strain, fracturing instead of the crystal. The findings could open the door to higher performance computer chips and new optoelectronic devices, such as more sensitive infrared detectors.

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