Structure is an important characteristic of any material as different structures can produce different properties, even though it is the same atoms and molecules involved. Carbon may be the best example of this as its allotropes of graphite, diamond, and graphene all show surprisingly distinct properties, but it is not the only material like this. That is why researchers are constantly trying to change things up to see what they get and that includes trying to make atom-thick sheets of a material. Researchers at Penn State have recently created a monolayer of tungstenite and in this form it could have many optical technology applications.
Tungstenite is a naturally occurring but rare material made of tungsten disulfide (WS2) and the researchers produced atom-thick sheets of it by exposing tungsten oxide to sulfur vapor, heated to 850 ºC. The resulting monolayers had a honeycomb pattern of triangles that were photoluminescent, so when one color light fell on them, another color would be emitted. Interestingly, the light was primarily emitted at the edge of the triangle, where the chemistry of the triangles changes. Also the triangles emitted light at room temperature, which could be very valuable depending on what the material is used for.
Potentially the tungstenite triangles could be used for optical light detection and emission, similar to LEDs and lasers. The researchers are also looking at other means of producing tungstenite to see if combining it with other materials can produce even more valuable properties.
Source: Penn State