A liquid metal reaction environment for the room-temperature synthesis of atomically thin metal oxides

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Abstract

Two-dimensional (2D) oxides have a wide variety of applications in electronics and other technologies. However, many oxides are not easy to synthesize as 2D materials through conventional methods.We used nontoxic eutectic gallium-based alloys as a reaction solvent and co-alloyed desired metals into the melt. On the basis of thermodynamic considerations, we predicted the composition of the self-limiting interfacial oxide.We isolated the surface oxide as a 2D layer, either on substrates or in suspension.This enabled us to produce extremely thin subnanometer layers of HfO2, Al2O3, andGd2O3.The liquid metal-based reaction route can be used to create 2D materials that were previously inaccessible with preexisting methods.The work introduces room-temperature liquid metals as a reaction environment for the synthesis of oxide nanomaterials with low dimensionality.

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Zavabeti, A., Ou, J. Z., Carey, B. J., Syed, N., Orrell-Trigg, R., Mayes, E. L. H., … Daeneke, T. (2017). A liquid metal reaction environment for the room-temperature synthesis of atomically thin metal oxides. Science, 358(6361), 332–335. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aao4249

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