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Research Zernike (ZIAM) News Seminars

Prof. dr. Coleman: Tiny but mighty: How todays nanomaterials will lead to tomorrows technologies

When:Tu 10-12-2013 14:00 - 15:00


Layered materials represent a diverse and largely untapped source of 2-dimensional systems with exotic electronic properties and high specific surface areas that are crucially important for applications including sensing, catalysis and energy storage. While graphene is the most well-known layered material, transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), transition metal oxides (TMOs) and other 2-dimensional (2D) compounds such as BN, FeTe, Bi2Te3 and Bi2Se3 are also important. If they could be easily exfoliated in large quantities, such layered materials would become an important source of 2-dimensional crystals. Here we show that layered compounds such as MoS2, WS2, MoSe2, MoTe2, TaSe2, NbSe2, NiTe2, BN, MnO2, MoO3 and Bi2Te3, can be efficiently dispersed and exfoliated in both in common solvents and in aqueous surfactant solutions. Electron microscopy shows these materials may be exfoliated down to individual layers. These dispersions can be deposited as individual flakes or formed into films. By blending with suspensions of other nano-materials or polymer solutions, we can prepare hybrid dispersions or composites which can be cast into films. Such materials demonstrate huge potential for a range of applications. For example, we show that WS2 and MoS2 effectively reinforce polymers, WS2/carbon nanotube hybrid films display promising thermoelectric properties, MoS2 films are viable candidates for battery electrodes while layered oxides are exciting for electrochemical applications. Exfoliated layered compounds are also useful as fillers in polymer based composites for applications such as mechanical reinforcement or gas barrier. We will demonstrate the utility of these materials for such applications. We note that such applications will, eventually, require large quantities of exfoliated layered materials. We will demonstrate a scalable exfoliation method for producing nanosheets in very large quantities.