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Ultrasound exfoliation of inorganic analogues of graphene

Václav Štengl1*, Jiří Henych12, Michaela Slušná12 and Petra Ecorchard1

Author Affiliations

1 Materials Chemistry Department, Institute of Inorganic Chemistry AS CR, v.v.i., Řež 250 68, Czech Republic

2 Faculty of Environment, J.E. Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem, Ústí nad Labem 400 96, Czech Republic

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:167  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-167

Published: 5 April 2014

Abstract

High-intensity ultrasound exfoliation of a bulk-layered material is an attractive route for large-scale preparation of monolayers. The monolayer slices could potentially be prepared with a high yield (up to 100%) in a few minutes. Exfoliation of natural minerals (such as tungstenite and molybdenite) or bulk synthetic materials (including hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN), hexagonal boron carbon nitride (h-BCN), and graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4)) in liquids leads to the breakdown of the 3D graphitic structure into a 2D structure; the efficiency of this process is highly dependent upon the physical effects of the ultrasound. Atomic force microscopy (AFM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and selected area electron diffraction (SAED) were employed to verify the quality of the exfoliation. Herein, this new method of exfoliation with ultrasound assistance for application to mono- and bilayered materials in hydrophobic and hydrophilic environments is presented.

Keywords:
Ultrasound; Exfoliation; Graphene inorganic analogues