National Tsing Hua University’s physics department on Monday presented a thesis on germanene based on the work of Lin Chung-huang (林仲桓), a doctoral student who died in a car accident in 2016.
A research team was able to retrieve data from the lab used by Lin at the National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center, physics professor and Lin’s adviser Tang Shu-jung (唐述中) said.
The team, which includes Tang, professors Mou Chung-yu (牟中於) and Jeng Horng-tay (鄭弘泰), and students Chen Wei-chuan (陳韋全) and Chen Ting-yu (陳亭宇), based their work on the foundation built by Lin, Tang said.
Germanene, a material consisting of a single layer of germanium, was first proposed in 2009, but no physicist has yet produced an actual product, Tang said.
Lin had attempted to grow germanene under different temperatures and through deposition, and was finally able to grow a layer of the material in a hive-shaped spread on silver.
Germanene can induce spin polarization and is seen as a new material that could eventually replace graphene, Tang said, adding that its applications in terms of electronic components and products would be far greater that of graphene or silicene.
Chen Ting-yu recounted that one time, the team was having difficulty conducting photoelectron spectroscopy, as the machine kept malfunctioning.
The team switched tactics and was rewarded with better results, he said.
“I like to think that it was Lin who was helping us,” he added.
Lin’s parents were invited to the event, where they left an empty seat with a doctoral cap and gown on it for Lin.
“Our son’s final wishes have been fulfilled, and it is the best present one could ever receive before the Lunar New Year,” his parents said.
University president Hocheng Hong (賀陳弘) said the school was sad to lose Lin, who attended college and graduate school there, and was proud of his accomplishments.
The team has submitted the paper to the international journal Physical Review Materials, with Lin as the lead author, Tang said.
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