Published online by Cambridge University Press: 26 January 2016
2D materials play a special role in the race to make smaller and smaller devices. Their unique and strong in-plane bonding makes them impervious to diffusion into other layers and provides excellent thickness control. Their van der Waal's bonding with other monolayers or substrates allows for heterostructures unattainable by any other technique. This is reflected by the abundant popularity of research into graphene and other 2D materials. In this review article, we will describe the out-of-plane properties of graphene and functionalized graphene. We will use three specific examples to illustrate how these out-of-plane properties can be used in spintronic devices, in section “Graphene as a Tunnel Barrier” we will describe a magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) based on graphene. Section “Graphene Based MTJs” will describe the spin injecting properties of a graphene tunnel barrier on silicon. Section “Graphene in Semiconductor Spintronic Devices” describes how you can use functionalized graphene to make a homoepitaxial graphene device. The second part of this article reviews monolayer transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDs). First, we will show how TMDs are grown and specifically how we can grow large-area TMDs by chemical vapor deposition. Secondly, we will describe the optical properties of several TMDs and compare the results from several authors. Finally, we choose a chemical sensor as a specific example to show how TMDs can be used in a device.