Exfoliation of a non-van der Waals material from iron ore hematite
Nature Nanotechnology, volume 13, pages602–609 (2018), posted by Gelu Costin
Aravind Puthirath Balan 1,2,11, Sruthi Radhakrishnan1,11, Cristiano F. Woellner 3, Shyam K. Sinha4,
Liangzi Deng5, Carlos de los Reyes6, Banki Manmadha Rao7, Maggie Paulose7, Ram Neupane7,
Amey Apte1, Vidya Kochat1, Robert Vajtai 1, Avetik R. Harutyunyan8, Ching-Wu Chu5,9, Gelu Costin10,
Douglas S. Galvao3, Angel A. Martí6, Peter A. van Aken4, Oomman K. Varghese7, Chandra Sekhar Tiwary1*,
Anantharaman Malie Madom Ramaswamy Iyer1,2* and Pulickel M. Ajayan1*
With the advent of graphene, the most studied of all two-dimensional materials, many inorganic analogues have been synthesized
and are being exploited for novel applications. Several approaches have been used to obtain large-grain, high-quality
materials. Naturally occurring ores, for example, are the best precursors for obtaining highly ordered and large-grain atomic
layers by exfoliation. Here, we demonstrate a new two-dimensional material ‘hematene’ obtained from natural iron ore hematite
(α -Fe2O3), which is isolated by means of liquid exfoliation. The two-dimensional morphology of hematene is confirmed by
transmission electron microscopy. Magnetic measurements together with density functional theory calculations confirm the
ferromagnetic order in hematene while its parent form exhibits antiferromagnetic order. When loaded on titania nanotube
arrays, hematene exhibits enhanced visible light photocatalytic activity. Our study indicates that photogenerated electrons can
be transferred from hematene to titania despite a band alignment unfavourable for charge transfer.
Citation: Balan, A. P., Radhakrishnan, S., Woellner, C. F., Sinha, S. K., Deng, L., Reyes, C. D. L., … Ajayan, P. M. (2018). Exfoliation of a non-van der Waals material from iron ore hematite. Nature Nanotechnology, 13, pages 602–609.
Hematene was nominated in “The Most Significant Material Science News of 2018”, at the category “Advances from Academia”.