Chemically exfoliated 2D Materials: Disorder engineering as route for enhancing functionality
Manish Chhowalla, Rutgers University, 607 Taylor Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854, USA.
Heterogeneity and aperiodicity in materials is typically viewed as undesirable but recent developments have shown that disorder in materials can lead to interesting and unexpected effects and that disorder and defect engineering are fundamental pathways for tailoring material properties. Towards this end, we utilize chemically exfoliated two-dimensional materials as model systems to study disorder. Chemical exfoliation leads to highly modified materials that are structurally and chemically heterogeneous in graphene oxide and single layered transition metal dichalcogenides, unlike the structurally pristine material formed by mechanical exfoliation or chemical vapor deposition. Thus the focus of our research is to understand and control the complex interplay between the atomic, chemical and electronic structures of the heterogeneous chemically exfoliated materials. In turn, our overall objective is to exploit the chemical heterogeneity to enhance catalytic behavior and bio-activity with nanosheet materials. In this talk, I will give two examples where chemical heterogeneity and structural disorder can lead to unexpected and highly desirable properties: The first deals with improvement in catalytic activity of monolayered transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) nanosheets such as MoS2 and WS2; the second example deals with growth of neurons with high degree of axonal alignment on chemically modified graphene oxide.
Manish Chhowalla is a Professor and Associate Chair of the Materials Science and Engineering Department at Rutgers University. He is also the Director of Nanotechnology for Clean Energy NSF IGERT Program and the Donald H Jacobs Chair in Applied Physics (2009 – 2011). From June 2009 – July 2010 he was a Professor in the Department of Materials at Imperial College London. He has won the NSF CAREER Award for young scientists as well as the Sigma Xi Outstanding Young Investigator for the Mid Atlantic Region. Before Rutgers, he was a Royal Academy of Engineering Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge after completing his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering there. Prior to his PhD, he worked for Multi-Arc Inc. (now Ion Bond) where he developed one of the first applications of “amorphous diamond” thin films. His technological interests are in the synthesis and characterization of novel low dimensional materials and their incorporation into devices for electrical, optical and mechanical applications. Fundamentally, he is interested in understanding the role of disorder in determining material properties. He has over 150 publications with over 10,500 citations (h-index = 51) on these topics and has given > 100 invited/keynote/plenary lectures. He has also served on organizing committees for numerous international conferences.