Universiteit Leiden

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This Week’s Discoveries | 21 November 2017

dinsdag 21 november 2017
Niels Bohrweg 2
2333 CA Leiden
De Sitterzaal


Synthesis of two-dimensional materials using liquid metal catalysts

Irene Groot (LIC)
Irene is an assistant professor in the Catalysis and surface chemistry group at LIC. She investigates the structure-activity relationship of catalysts under industrial conditions using operando scanning probe microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and surface X-ray diffraction. She focuses on industrial processes related to sustainable energy and materials production.

Two-dimensional materials, e.g. graphene, hold great promise for future applications in many technological areas. The current state-of-the-art synthesis method of these materials involves the dissociative adsorption of gas-phase precursors on a solid catalyst. This process is slow by nature, inefficient, and environmentally unfriendly. Using liquid metal catalysts instead of solid ones bears the prospect of a continuous production of two-dimensional materials with unprecedented quality and production speed. The aims of this multinational collaborative project are to develop instrumentation capable of studying the ongoing chemical reactions on a molten catalyst, in situ investigations on its catalytic activity, and unraveling the growth mechanisms of two-dimensional materials on surfaces of liquid catalysts. Gaining this knowledge would be the key toward establishing the first efficient mass production method for two-dimensional materials using this new technology.

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