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Biomolecule-assisted exfoliation and dispersion of graphene and other two-dimensional materials: a review of recent progress and applications

AutorParedes Nachón, Juan Ignacio ; Villar Rodil, Silvia
Fecha de publicación27-jul-2016
EditorRoyal Society of Chemistry (Great Britain)
CitaciónNanoscale 8(34): 15389-15413 (2016)
ResumenDirect liquid-phase exfoliation of layered materials by means of ultrasound, shear forces or electrochemical intercalation holds enormous promise as a convenient, cost-effective approach to the mass production of two-dimensional (2D) materials, particularly in the form of colloidal suspensions of high quality and micrometer- and submicrometer-sized flakes. Of special relevance due to environmental and practical reasons is the production of 2D materials in aqueous medium, which generally requires the use of certain additives (surfactants and other types of dispersants) to assist in the exfoliation and colloidal stabilization processes. In this context, biomolecules have received, in recent years, increasing attention as dispersants for 2D materials, as they provide a number of advantages over more conventional, synthetic surfactants. Here, we review research progress in the use of biomolecules as exfoliating and dispersing agents for the production of 2D materials. Although most efforts in this area have focused on graphene, significant advances have also been reported with transition metal dichalcogenides (MoS2, WS2, etc.) or hexagonal boron nitride. Particular emphasis is placed on the specific merits of different types of biomolecules, including proteins and peptides, nucleotides and nucleic acids (RNA, DNA), polysaccharides, plant extracts and bile salts, on their role as efficient colloidal dispersants of 2D materials, as well as on the potential applications that have been explored for such biomolecule-exfoliated materials. These applications are wide-ranging and encompass the fields of biomedicine (photothermal and photodynamic therapy, bioimaging, biosensing, etc.), energy storage (Li- and Na-ion batteries), catalysis (e.g., catalyst supports for the oxygen reduction reaction or electrocatalysts for the hydrogen evolution reaction), or composite materials. As an incipient area of research, a number of knowledge gaps, unresolved issues and novel future directions remain to be addressed for biomolecule-exfoliated 2D materials, which will be discussed in the last part of this review.
Versión del editorhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1039/C6NR02039A
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