Impossible materials made doable inside a graphene sandwich


A single layer of cuprous iodide encapsulated in between two sheets of graphene (grey atoms). Credit: Kimmo Mustonen, Christoph Hofer and Viera Skákalov

Atoms bind collectively by sharing electrons. The means this occurs is dependent upon the atom sorts but in addition on situations similar to temperature and stress. In two-dimensional (2D) supplies, similar to graphene, atoms be part of alongside a airplane to type constructions only one atom thick, which results in fascinating properties decided by quantum mechanics. Researchers on the University of Vienna in collaboration with the Universities of Tübingen, Antwerp and CY Cergy Paris, along with Danubia NanoTech, have produced a brand new 2D materials product of copper and iodine atoms sandwiched between two graphene sheets. The outcomes have been printed within the journal Advanced Materials.

The design of latest supplies permits for both improved effectivity of identified purposes or completely new purposes that have been out of attain with the beforehand present supplies. Indeed, tens of 1000’s of standard supplies similar to metals and their alloys have been recognized over the past hundred years. The same variety of doable 2D supplies have been predicted to exist, however as of now, solely a fraction of them have been produced in experiments. One motive for that is the instability of many of those supplies in laboratory situations.

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In the latest examine, the researchers synthesized 2D cuprous iodide that was stabilized in a graphene sandwich, as the primary instance of a fabric that doesn’t in any other case exist in regular laboratory situations. The synthesis makes use of the massive interlayer spacing of oxidized graphene multilayers, which permits iodine and copper atoms to diffuse into the hole and to develop the brand new materials. The graphene layers right here have an vital function imposing a excessive stress on the sandwiched materials that thus turns into stabilized. The ensuing sandwich construction is proven within the illustration.

“As so often, when we first saw the new material in our microscopy images, it was a surprise”, says Kimmo Mustonen, the lead writer of the examine. “It took us quite some time to figure out what the structure precisely was. This enabled us together with Danubia NanoTech company, headed by Viera Skákalová, to design a chemical process for producing it in large scale”, he continues. Understanding the construction was a joint effort of scientists from the Universities of Vienna, Tübingen, Antwerp and CY Cergy Paris. “We had to use several electron microscopy techniques to make sure that we were really seeing a monolayer of copper and iodine and to extract the exact atom positions in 3D, including the latest methods we have recently developed”, the second lead writer Christoph Hofer provides.

Following the 2D copper iodide, the researchers have already expanded the synthesis methodology to provide different new 2D supplies. “The method seems to be truly universal, providing access to dozens of new 2D materials. These are truly exciting times,” Kimmo Mustonen concludes.

Atomic-scale tailoring of graphene approaches macroscopic world

More info:
Kimmo Mustonen et al, Toward Exotic Layered Materials: 2D Cuprous Iodide, Advanced Materials (2021). DOI: 10.1002/adma.202106922

Impossible materials made doable inside a graphene sandwich (2022, January 20)
retrieved 20 January 2022

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