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 Reliable molecular toggle switch developed
30.03.2017 | Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)

nachricht Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions
29.03.2017 | DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

'On-off switch' brings researchers a step closer to potential HIV vaccine

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Penn studies find promise for innovations in liquid biopsies

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

An LED-based device for imaging radiation induced skin damage

30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>