Project Details


Non-Technical Description: The Two-Dimensional Crystal Consortium (2DCC) is a Materials Innovation Platform, an NSF mid-scale infrastructure program in the Division of Materials Research, that is focused on advancing the synthesis and characterization of 2D materials. 2D materials are atomically thin layers that, due to the restricted electron and atom motion, have physical characteristics that are not present in three dimensions and hold the potential for revolutionary device technologies ranging from flexible electronics to quantum computing. The full realization of this potential requires atomic-level mastery over the synthesis of wafer-scale films and bulk crystals with high crystalline perfection and also the discovery of new material compositions and structures. The 2DCC focuses on advancing the synthesis science of 2D materials through the development of state-of-the-art experimental and computational tools and techniques for thin film deposition and bulk crystal growth supported by advanced characterization and processing. A facility-wide data management system captures and curates sample data with additional functionality to enable new modes of data-enabled research. An in-house team of researchers works collaboratively with external users to accelerate discovery of new materials, to develop processes for synthesis of large area 2D films to transition toward commercialization, and to disseminate knowledge, samples, data, and techniques within a national user facility that acts as a hub for scientific training and cross-fertilization. Outreach and training activities targeted at users and the broader 2D community include webinars, an annual workshop on 2D materials, on-line tutorials and a data science workshop. The 2DCC engages the materials research community across academia, industry and government laboratories across career stages, including students and faculty at minority serving or primarily undergraduate institutions. On-site training opportunities are targeted at developing the next generation of crystal growers and tool developers and broadening participation in synthesis and advanced characterization.

Technical Description: The development of quantum materials in recent decades has led to transformative discoveries of emergent phenomena resulting from the interplay of reduced dimensionality, confinement, topology, and interactions. Two-dimensional layered chalcogenides (2DLC) are a prime example of this class of materials, encompassing van der Waals heterojunctions, topological insulators, topological semimetals, and high-temperature Fe-chalcogenide superconductors. The 2D Crystal Consortium (2DCC), an NSF Materials Innovation Platform, is motivated by the potential of 2DLCs for new physics and high-impact technologies tempered by the significant challenges associated with their synthesis. The Platform exploits 2DCC in-house expertise in materials growth by molecular beam epitaxy, metalorganic chemical vapor deposition, confinement heteroepitaxy, modeling of materials growth kinetics and sample properties, and bulk crystal growth. New synthesis capabilities include double-crucible Bridgman methods that target extreme stoichiometric precision and an integrated plasma/evaporation tool for scalable synthesis of air-stable 2D polar metals. This synthesis web is interconnected with a comprehensive suite of advanced spectroscopy, scanning probe and processing tools allowing sample exchange while maintaining vacuum or inert-gas environments. Data generated throughout the facility feeds into a sample data tracking system that embeds knowledge graph functionality to enable new modes of data-enabled materials discovery. Theory and computational tools are deployed in a tightly integrated theory-computation-measurement-synthesis loop that targets the understanding of both key kinetic growth processes and the results of in situ and ex situ characterization, following the vision of the Materials Genome Initiative.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Effective start/end date6/1/215/31/26


  • National Science Foundation: $12,949,244.00


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