Phosphorus ‘rain’

Rice University’s Evgeni Penev, a research scientist in the lab of theoretical physicist Boris Yakobson, created the stunning “Matrix”-style image on the cover of the current print issue of the journal Nano Letters. Penev routinely creates art from calculations to illustrate the concepts behind the Yakobson Research Group’s discoveries. The latest is for a paper that demonstrates how atom-scale defects that damage the properties of most two-dimensional materials have no effect on phosphorus, making it a promising candidate for nano-electronic applications. “I wanted to make a ‘phosphorescent’ rendering of some structural and electronic signatures of 2-D phosphorus (so-called “phosphorene”) arranged in a collage inspired by the digital rain from ‘The Matrix,'” Penev said. The connected rings of atoms represent grain boundaries that separate phosphorus domains that grow at different angles, and the wavy lines “are the energy bands for some of the structures we considered,” he said. Read more about the project here.

About Mike Williams

Mike Williams is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.