Although there is a lot of research focusing on multielemental 2D materials, the number of monoelemental 2D materials such as graphene or black phosphorus (BP) is rather limited. In addition to BP, other group 5 elements (pnictogens) are attracting attention as 2D materials with semiconducting properties.
Martin Pumera, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and colleagues have found that aqueous shear exfoliation can be used to obtain As, Sb, and Bi exfoliated nanosheets. This shear force exfoliation was carried out using household kitchen blenders, and the pnictogens were processed in aqueous surfactants, making this a green, accessible, and scalable method. The obtained yields are comparable to previously known exfoliation methods.
The pnictogen nanosheets were obtained as fine powders that can be redispersed in the desired media. This shear exfoliation method also produces activated edges that improve electrochemical responses. The exfoliated nanosheets were evaluated in water-splitting reactions, where shear-exfoliated Sb had the best electrochemical performance overall. These results are thus significant for future applications of pnictogens in electrocatalysis and electroanalysis.
- Pnictogen (As, Sb, Bi) Nanosheets for Electrochemical Applications Are Produced by Shear Exfoliation Using Kitchen Blenders,
Rui Gusmão, Zdeněk Sofer, Daniel Bouša, Martin Pumera,
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017.