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Drexel Engineering 2-D Research Featured in C&EN magazine

October 12, 2012

Research by Drexel University’s Dr. Yury Gogotsi, distinguished university and trustee chair professor and Dr. Michel Barsoum, A. W. Grosvenor professor, of the Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) department has been featured in the October 8, 2012 issue of the Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) magazine. The article titled, “More Materials Go 2-D,” highlights Gogotsi and Barsoum’s initiative on creating new 2-D materials dubbed MXenes (pronounced “maxenes”), by chemically exfoliating three-component layered materials, such as Ti 3 AlC 2, using powders of the compound with hydrofluoric acid solution at room temperature. The treatment selectively etches aluminum, according to Barsoum, yielding 2-D sheets composed of a few molecular layers of Ti 3 C 2. The team was able to create their first 2-D material using this method, but Ti 3 AlC 2 is just one example of a MAX phase. The family includes some 60 members.

“Our goal is to find new 2-D materials that have unique and useful properties that are different from graphene’s,” Gogotsi says. “We produced seven new materials. Dozens more are possible.”

He goes on to say that the surface chemistry and other properties of MXenes are expected to be different from one another and from those of graphene.“ We may have opened up a whole new playground for chemists, materials scientists, and others who are interested in this area.”

In a follow-up study published this year, the Drexel team reported that seven other MAX phases were exfoliated via acid treatment. The starting materials include Ti 2 AlC, Ta 4 AlC 3, (Ti 0.5 Nb 0.5 ) 2 AlC, (V 0.5 Cr 0.5 ) 3 AlC 2, and Ti 3 AlCN ( ACS Nano, DOI: 10.1021/nn204153h ).

To read the complete article and more on Gogotsi and Barsoum’s 2-D work, please click here.