Scientists are developing a powerful family of 2D materials

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A team from Tulane University School of Science and Engineering has developed a new family of two-dimensional materials that researchers say have promising applications, including in advanced electronics and high-capacity batteries.

Led by Michael Naguib, assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics, the study was published in the journal Advanced materials.

“Two-dimensional materials are nanomaterials whose thickness is on the order of nanometers (nanometer is one millionth of a millimeter) and lateral dimensions thousands of times the thickness,” Naguib said. “Their flatness offers a unique set of properties compared to bulk materials.”

The name of the new family of 2D materials is transition metal carbo-chalcogenides, or TMCCs. It combines the characteristics of two families of 2D materials: transition metal carbides and transition metal dichalcogenides.

Naguib, early career Ken & Ruth Arnold professor of science and engineering, said the latter is a large family of materials that has been widely explored and found to hold great promise, particularly for electrochemical energy storage and conversion. But he said one of the challenges in using them is their low electrical conductivity and stability.

On the other hand, he said, transition metal carbides are excellent electrical conductors with much more powerful conductivity. Merging the two families into one should have great potential for many applications such as batteries and supercapacitors, catalysis, sensors and electronics.

“Instead of stacking the two different materials like Lego building blocks with many problematic interfaces, here we are developing a new 2D material that combines the two compositions without any interfaces,” he said.

“We used an electrochemical-assisted exfoliation process by inserting lithium ions between layers of bulk transition metal carbo-chalcogenides, followed by agitation in water,” said first author Ahmad Majed. of the paper and PhD candidate in materials physics and Engineer at Tulane working in Naguib’s group.

Unlike other exotic nanomaterials, Majed said, the manufacturing process for these 2D TMCC nanomaterials is simple and scalable.

In addition to Naguib and Majed, the team includes Jiang Wei, associate professor of physics and engineering physics; Jianwei Sun, assistant professor of physics and engineering physics; Ph.D. candidates Kaitlyn Prenger, Manish Kothakonda, and Fei Wang at Tulane; and Dr. Eric N. Tseng and Professor Per OA Persson from Linkӧping University in Sweden.

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More information:
Ahmad Majed et al, Transition Metal Carbo-Chalcogenide “TMCC” a new family of two-dimensional materials, Advanced materials (2022). DOI: 10.1002/adma.202200574

Provided by Tulane University

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