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Rice University scientists built computer models of intermediate reactions to understand why salt lowers reaction temperatures in the synthesis of two-dimensional compounds. Above left, molybdenum oxychloride precursor molecules undergo sulfurization in which sulfur atoms replace oxygen atoms. That sets up the material to form new compounds. At right, the calculations show the charge densities of the new molecules. Courtesy of the Yakobson Group

Salt optimizes creation of 2-D materials

Rice University scientists used a dash of salt to simplify the creation of two-dimensional materials that combined transition metals and chalcogens.Scientists believe that the discovery...