Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New nontoxic process promises larger ultrathin sheets of 2-D nanomaterials

26.07.2016

A team of scientists led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has developed a novel way to produce two-dimensional nanosheets by separating bulk materials with nontoxic liquid nitrogen. The environmentally friendly process generates a 20-fold increase in surface area per sheet, which could expand the nanomaterials' commercial applications.

"It's actually a very simple procedure," said ORNL chemist Huiyuan Zhu, who co-authored a study published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition. "We heated commercially available boron nitride in a furnace to 800 degrees Celsius to expand the material's 2D layers. Then, we immediately dipped the material into liquid nitrogen, which penetrates through the interlayers, gasifies into nitrogen, and exfoliates, or separates, the material into ultrathin layers."


ORNL's Huiyuan Zhu places a sample of boron nitride, or "white graphene," into a furnace as part of a novel, nontoxic gas exfoliation process to separate 2-D nanomaterials.

Credit: ORNL

Nanosheets of boron nitride could be used in separation and catalysis, such as transforming carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide in gasoline-powered engines. They also may act as an absorbent to mop up hazardous waste. Zhu said the team's controlled gas exfoliation process could be used to synthesize other 2D nanomaterials such as graphene, which has potential applications in semiconductors, photovoltaics, electrodes and water purification.

Because of the versatility and commercial potential of one-atom-thick 2D nanomaterials, scientists are seeking more efficient ways to produce larger sheets. Current exfoliation procedures use harsh chemicals that produce hazardous byproducts and reduce the amount of surface area per nanosheet, Zhu said.

"In this particular case, the surface area of the boron nitride nanosheets is 278 square meters per gram, and the commercially available boron nitride material has a surface area of only 10 square meters per gram," Zhu said. "With 20 times more surface area, boron nitride can be used as a great support for catalysis."

Further research is planned to expand the surface area of boron nitride nanosheets and also test their feasibility in cleaning up engine exhaust and improving the efficiency of hydrogen fuel cells.

###

Along with Zhu, several co-authors participated in the paper, "Controlled Gas Exfoliation of Boron Nitride into Few-Layered Nanosheets," including ORNL's Sheng Dai, Xiang Gao, Qian Li, Shannon M. Mahurin and Wenshuai Zhu; Yanhong Chao, Hongping Li and Huaming Li with Jiangsu University and Meijun Li from the University of Tennessee. The Angewandte Chemie study can be found here.

The study was supported by the DOE Office of Science. Additional funding was provided by the Liane Russell Distinguished Early Career Fellowship through the Laboratory Directed Research and Development program. Zhu joined ORNL in 2014 as one of the lab's first Russell Fellows, and her primary area of research is on synthetic control of hybrid nanomaterials for catalytic applications.

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy's Office of Science, the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. DOE's Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit http://science.energy.gov.

Image 1: https://www.ornl.gov/sites/default/files/01%20BN%20Gas%20Exfoliation%20Process.jpg

Cutline 1: ORNL's Huiyuan Zhu places a sample of boron nitride, or "white graphene," into a furnace as part of a novel, nontoxic gas exfoliation process to separate 2D nanomaterials.

Image 2: https://www.ornl.gov/sites/default/files/02%20BN%20Gas%20Exfoliation%20image_from%20A%20Chemie.png

Cutline 2: A new ORNL study published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition describes a new gas exfoliation process that yields a 20 percent increase in surface area per nanosheet of boron nitride. (Image credit: Angewandte Chemie International Edition.)

NOTE TO EDITORS: You may read other press releases from Oak Ridge National Laboratory or learn more about the lab at http://www.ornl.gov/news. Additional information about ORNL is available at the sites below:

Twitter - http://twitter.com/ornl
RSS Feeds - http://www.ornl.gov/ornlhome/rss_feeds.shtml
Flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/oakridgelab
YouTube - http://www.youtube.com/user/OakRidgeNationalLab
LinkedIn - http://www.linkedin.com/companies/oak-ridge-national-laboratory
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/Oak.Ridge.National.Laboratory

Media Contact

Sara Shoemaker
shoemakerms@ornl.gov
865-576-9219

 @ORNL

http://www.ornl.gov 

Sara Shoemaker | EurekAlert!

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk
20.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

nachricht Treated carbon pulls radioactive elements from water
20.01.2017 | Rice University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>