2D Nanomaterials at the Air-Water Interface: From Fundamental Studies to the Fabrication of Advanced Materials

Dr. Michael Pope, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Waterloo

02 December 2015 at 11:30

Location: BSB 137

Graphene and related 2D nanomaterials are expected to revolutionize many applications due to their unique optical, electronic and mechanical properties. These atomically thin sheets are typically micron to submicron-sized in lateral extent when exfoliated from bulk precursors and must be controllably assembled into large area films or coatings to form functional nanocomposites. Graphene-based materials hold significant promise for applications requiring electrodes with high surface area and porosity while, on the other hand, they can also be processed into non-porous, gas impermeable films. Engineering materials which traverse these seemingly conflicting abilities depend largely on how we manipulate their colloidal assembly and aggregation behavior.

In this talk, I will demonstrate that constraining graphene and other 2D materials at an interface provides a means to direct their assembly into well-defined, densely tiled monolayers and multi-layer structures. Modifying electrodes with such monolayers provides a means to quantitatively assess their intrinsic electrochemical performance as electrocatalysts or their interfacial capacitance. Building multi-layer structures by repetitive coating of these monolayers leads to fully dense membranes or blocking layers. I will first illustrate the power of this approach using traditional Langmuir deposition and then describe our efforts to scale up this film forming technology to compete with more established techniques such as chemical vapor deposition.

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