Exploring the challenges of exfoliating novel two-dimensional materials

phys.org | 10/16/2018 | Staff
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Ever since researchers at the University of Manchester used a piece of tape to isolate, or "exfoliate," a single layer of carbon, known as graphene, scientists have been investigating the creation of and applications for two-dimensional materials in order to advance technology in new ways. Scientists have theorized about many different kinds of two-dimensional materials, but producing them, by isolating one layer at a time from a layered three dimensional source, often presents a challenge.

Salvador Barraza-Lopez, associate professor of physics, and his research group are studying 2-D materials called group IV monochalcogenides, which includes tin selenide, germanium sulfide, tin(II) sulfide, tin telluride and tin selenide, among others.

Form - Materials - Properties - Example - Cells

In 3-D form, these materials have many useful properties. For example, they are currently used in solar cells. Some group IV monochalcogenides are also ferroelectric when exfoliated down to the 2-D limit, which means that they contain pairs of positive and negative charges that create a macroscopic dipole moment.

While some of these two-dimensional materials have been grown, no one has successfully peeled off a stable two-dimensional layer from a group IV monochalcogenide. In a recent manuscript titled "Water Splits to Degrade Two-Dimensional Group-IV Monochalcogenides in Nanoseconds" and published in the Journal ACS Central Science, Barraza-Lopez explained a possible reason for this.

Barraza-Lopez - Conditions - Water - Molecules

Barraza-Lopez said that, even under the strictest experimental conditions, ambient water molecules can be found near these...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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