Scientists from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory introduced a two-dimensional material to cannibalize itself for atomic “building blocks” that form stable structures. This new development occurred in Nature Communications, provides the insights that may improve the design of 2D materials for efficiently fast-charging energy storage in electronic devices.
Xiahan Sang of ORNL explained that they developed a new mechanism where atom mechanisms and kinetics are responsible for forming new structures of 2D transition metal carbide that forms a new synthesis.
This research deals with Fluid Interface Reactions, Structures and Transport and a DOE Energy Frontier Research Center that explores fluid-solid interface reactions that have consequences for energy transport in a day to day applications where Scientists conducted experiments on them to synthesize and characterize advanced materials.
Here the scientists deployed high-quality material that was synthesized by Drexel University scientists, in the form of five-ply single-crystal monolayer flakes of MXene and then they used an acidic solution to etch out the monoatomic aluminum layers to exfoliate the material and separate it into individual monolayers of a titanium carbide MXene (Ti3C2).
The Scientists of ORNL discarded a large MXene flake on a heating chip with holes drilled, hence no support material, or substrate, interfered with the flake and then in the presence of vacuum they suspended a flake that was exposed to heat and irradiated with an electron beam to clean the MXene surface and fully expose the layer of titanium atoms, so that titanium and carbon atoms remove defective sites to the surface.
As soon as these functional groups are gone, only a titanium layer is left, which is free to reconstruct and form new structures on top of existing structures. This high-resolution STEM imaging proved that atoms moved from one area to other of the material to another to build new structures where the growth mechanism is completely supported by density functional theory and reactive molecular dynamics simulations, that opens a future growth in developing new structures.
He concluded by mentioning that, “These materials are efficiently enough at ionic transport, which adapts itself well to battery and supercapacitor applications. The researchers also hope that this new knowledge will help in the further development of advanced materials and to generate useful nanoscale structures.