Scientists from the University of Tsukuba have just turned theory into a practical one by synthesizing the first-ever 2D boron monosulfide (BS) nanosheets, which can be dealt with layer-by-layer to manipulate their electronic properties.
Boron is a multifunctional non-metal component. Nevertheless, in the last five years, chemists have just hypothesized about the beneficial properties, as well as applications of two-dimensional boron-containing materials.
According to an AZoNano report, because of their essentially massive surface sites and different electronic statuses, 2D materials are ideal contenders for applications in batteries and other devices.
More so, incorporating 2D building blocks into groundbreaking materials can allow for higher control over their functionalities.
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BS Nanosheet Found Relatively Large
As a result of their study published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A, the researchers developed a “1:1 boron: sulfide bulk material” that has a rhombohedral, specifically a 3D rhombus crystal structure or r-BS.
They then stripped away distinctive nanolayers, therefore retaining the original crystalline arrangement of the component.
Essentially, the bandgap energy of a material is linked to its ability to conduct electrical current. Consequently, it is a property related to prospective electric device applications.
The study investigators found that the bandgap energy of a single BS nanosheet was relatively large. Nonetheless, it dropped gradually as one or two additional layers of nanosheet were added.
Ultimately, the stack’s bandgap energy reached the bulk r-BS level following the addition of sheets, about five of them.
Exhibiting Unique Bandgap Structures
A similar ScienceDaily report said, electrodes including r-BS or 2D BS exhibited unique bandgap structures and thus responded to various wavelengths of light.
Boron is quite an interesting contender. Specifically, the light-driven phenomena showed that 2D boron monosulfide materials could be employed in electronic or photocatalytic devices.
Most substantially, it is possible to tune their properties as needed by modifying the number of nanosheets.
Moreover, the r-BS necessitated lower-energy irradiation like the visible light, for instance, to perform a current and show a photocatalytic behavior. A more massive bandgap of the 2D BS was only active, this research specified, under higher-energy ultraviolet light.
This research was financially backed by the JSPS Kakenhi. It was also financially supported by the MEXT Elementary Strategy Initiative to Form Core Research Center, Ogasawara Foundation for the Promotion of Science & Engineering, and MHI Innovation Accelerator LLC.
Nanotechnology in Batteries
According to UnderstandingNano, using nanotechnology for manufacturing batteries provides several benefits. One of them is the increase in power from the battery and the decrease in the time needed to recharge it.
Such benefits are attained by coating an electrode’s surface using nanoparticles. This, in turn, increases the electrode’s surface area, thereby enabling more current to flow between the chemicals and electrode inside the battery.
This strategy could augment the hybrid vehicles’ efficiency by substantially decreasing the weight of the batteries needed to provide sufficient power.
As this report specified, increasing a battery’s shelf life through the use of nanomaterials to separate liquids in the battery from solid electrodes when “there is no draw on the battery.”
Such a separation prevents the low-level discharge in a conventional battery, which dramatically augments the battery’s shelf life.
Related information about 2D nanosheets is shown on the Advanced Science News’s YouTube video below:
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