Semiconductor Science and Technology
Layered compounds, materials with a large anisotropy to their bonding, electrical and/or magnetic properties, have been important in the development of solid state chemistry, physics and engineering applications. Layered materials were the initial test bed where chemists developed intercalation chemistry that evolved into the field of topochemical reactions where researchers are able to perform sequential steps to arrive at kinetically stable products that cannot be directly prepared by other
... prepared by other approaches. Physicists have used layered compounds to discover and understand novel phenomena made more apparent through reduced dimensionality. The discovery of charge and spin density waves and more recently the remarkable discovery in condensed matter physics of the two-dimensional topological insulating state were discovered in two-dimensional materials. The understanding developed in two-dimensional materials enabled subsequent extension of these and other phenomena into three-dimensional materials. Layered compounds have also been used in many technologies as engineers and scientists used their unique properties to solve challenging technical problems (low temperature ion conduction for batteries, easy shear planes for lubrication in vacuum, edge decorated catalyst sites for catalytic removal of sulfur from oil, etc). The articles that are published in this issue provide an excellent overview of the spectrum of activities that are being pursued, as well as an introduction to some of the most established achievements in the field. Clusters of papers discussing thermoelectric properties, electronic structure and transport properties, growth of single two-dimensional layers, intercalation and more extensive topochemical reactions and the interleaving of two structures to form new materials highlight the breadth of current research in this area. These papers will hopefully serve as a useful guideline for the interested reader to different important aspects in this field and an overview of current areas of research interest.