Thousands of conventional materials such as metals and their alloys have been identified over the past century. The existence of a similar number of 2D materials, but so far only a fraction of them have been synthesized. It is difficult to create them laboratory because of their instability.
And yet, during a recent experienceresearchers from the University of Vienna, in collaboration with the universities of Tübingen, Antwerp and CY Cergy Paris have succeeded in synthesizing stabilized 2D cuprous iodide in one graphene sandwich. It is the first 2D material, created under normal laboratory conditions.
This discovery constitutes a revolution. The fact is that the design of new materials is important for solving major global challenges, especially in terms of energy and sustainability. Those new elements make it possible either to improve the efficiency of known applications, or to create new ones, hitherto inaccessible.
2D materials form in a linear plane
The atomic bonds of conventional materials are made through electronic exchanges. These electron transfers depend not only on the structure of the atoms present, but also on several other environmental factors such as pressure or temperature.
On the contrary, the atoms of 2D materials bind differently. These are arranged in a linear plan. This results in thin sheets ofatomic elements in two dimensions with enchanting properties from the point of view of Quantum mechanics.
2D copper iodide synthesized between two layers of graphene
The college of researchers has therefore achieved a real feat by synthesizing a 2D material in laboratory. They stuck copper and iodine atoms between two graphene sheets to give stable 2D copper iodide. The results of this study have been published on the website Advanced Materials.
The graphene sandwiches observed in electronic microscope give really surprising images. Researchers have taken some time to understand these 2D atomic formations. The new material spreads between two layers of oxidized graphene. The high pressure exerted by the latter stabilizes it and gives a sandwich structure.
They then established, in collaboration with the company Danubia NanoTech, a large-scale production process. Scientists have gone further and have now successfully synthesized dozens of other 2D materials.