Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > You're not so tough, h-BN: Rice University chemists find new path to make strong 2D material better for applications

Rice University scientists have made it much simpler to add carbon chains to hexagonal-boron nitride, a 2D material much stiffer than steel and an excellent conductor of heat. (Credit: Illustration courtesy of the Angel Martí Group/Rice University)
Rice University scientists have made it much simpler to add carbon chains to hexagonal-boron nitride, a 2D material much stiffer than steel and an excellent conductor of heat. (Credit: Illustration courtesy of the Angel Martí Group/Rice University)

Abstract:
Hexagonal-boron nitride is tough, but Rice University scientists are making it easier to get along with.

You're not so tough, h-BN: Rice University chemists find new path to make strong 2D material better for applications

Houston, TX | Posted on August 14th, 2019

Two-dimensional h-BN, an insulating material also known as "white graphene," is four times stiffer than steel and an excellent conductor of heat, a benefit for composites that rely on it to enhance their properties.

Those qualities also make h-BN hard to modify. Its tight hexagonal lattice of alternating boron and nitrogen atoms is highly resistant to change, unlike graphene and other 2D materials that can be easily modified — aka functionalized — with other elements.

The Rice lab of chemist Angel Martí has published a protocol to enhance h-BN with carbon chains. These turn the 2D tough guy into a material that retains its strength but is more amenable to bonding with polymers or other materials in composites.

The lab's paper in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Physical Chemistry suggests h-BN can be made more dispersible in organic solvents as well. Martí and his team modified the Billups-Birch reaction process they had successfully used to alter boron nitride nanotubes to attack the defenses of h-BN and covalently attach carbons.

Birch reduction, discovered in the 1940s and enhanced in 2004 by Rice Professor Emeritus of Chemistry Edward Billups to functionalize carbon nanotubes, frees electrons to bind with other atoms. In the Rice process, Martí and his team can control the amount of h-BN functionalization by varying the amount of lithium in the reaction.

Lithium is an alkali metal that sheds free electrons when combined with liquefied ammonia. Mixed with h-BN flakes and a carbon source, 1-Bromododecane in this case, the reaction produces an alkyl radical, a chemical species that reacts with h-BN and makes a bond.

Martí said it's the best method found so far to modify h-BN, which resists change even under high temperatures. "You take a little bit of graphite and put it in a furnace at 800 degrees (Celsius), and it will be gone," he said. "You take hexagonal-boron nitride and do the same, and it will still be there smiling at you.

"That gives you an idea of how stable it is, and that’s the problem we wanted to address," Martí said. "The material is good for certain applications, but to control its properties for manufacturing, you have to graft different groups onto the surface."

He said a 20-to-1 molar ratio of lithium to h-BN optimized the process of grafting carbon chains to the surface and edges. Because the base h-BN remains stable under high temperatures, it can be returned to its pristine state by simply burning off the functional chains.

While h-BN is naturally hydrophilic (water-attracting), the functional carbons make them nearly superhydrophobic (water-avoiding), a good property for making protective films, Martí said. But even when enhanced, the flakes remain amenable to dispersion in non-polar solvents.

Martí said his group is exploring what other kinds of molecules can be grafted onto white graphene. "What about benzene groups? What about ethers? What about groups that will make it compatible with other materials?

"There's a lot of interest in making composite materials between h-BN, boron nitride nanotubes and polymers," he said. "Ultimately, we'd like to graft different groups onto h-BN and build a library, kind of a toolbox, of functional groups that can be used with these materials."

Rice alumnus Carlos de los Reyes is lead author of the paper. Co-authors are Rice undergraduate Katharyn Hernández, graduate students Cecilia Martínez-Jiménez, Cedric Ginestra and Ashleigh Smith McWilliams, research assistant Kendahl Walz-Mitra and Matteo Pasquali, the A.J. Hartsook Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, a professor of materials science and nanoengineering and of chemistry. Martí is an associate professor of chemistry, of bioengineering and of materials science and nanoengineering.

The National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Welch Foundation supported the research.

####

About Rice University
Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,962 undergraduates and 3,027 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction and No. 4 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations on Twitter @RiceUNews.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Jeff Falk
713-348-6775


Mike Williams
713-348-6728

Copyright © Rice University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Read the abstract at:

New nano building block takes a bow:

Angel Martí Group:

Rice Department of Chemistry:

Wiess School of Natural Sciences:

Related News Press

News and information

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Hosts R&D Day on Emerging Pipeline of RNAi Therapeutics October 18th, 2019

How perovskite in solar cells recrystallizes and why modified carbon nanotubes can help overcome the reproducibility problem by making use of this October 18th, 2019

Novel nanoprobes show promise for optical monitoring of neural activity: New approach for studying neural circuits offers advantages over both microelectrodes and fluorescence-based optical techniques that require genetic modifications October 18th, 2019

Highest-throughput 3D printer is future of manufacturing: Rapid manufacturing on-demand could put warehouses, molds into the past October 17th, 2019

2 Dimensional Materials

Borophene on silver grows freely into an atomic ‘skin’: Rice scientists lead effort to improve manufacture of valuable 2D material October 1st, 2019

Graphene/ Graphite

Borophene on silver grows freely into an atomic ‘skin’: Rice scientists lead effort to improve manufacture of valuable 2D material October 1st, 2019

Physicists found weak spots in ceramic/graphene composites: Physicists found out the structures in nanomaterials made of ceramic and graphene plates, in which cracks appear most frequently September 27th, 2019

The future of materials with graphene nanotubes starts in Japan September 19th, 2019

New health monitors are flexible, transparent and graphene enabled September 13th, 2019

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Matching Investment Program (MIP) Leverages $140K Empire State Development/NYSTAR Funding to SUNY Poly’s CATN2 to Enable $1.5M in Matching Commitments from Industry Partners: Investment Funds Faculty Research Related to Advanced Materials, Genomics, and Semiconductor Reliability October 18th, 2019

Novel nanoprobes show promise for optical monitoring of neural activity: New approach for studying neural circuits offers advantages over both microelectrodes and fluorescence-based optical techniques that require genetic modifications October 18th, 2019

Highest-throughput 3D printer is future of manufacturing: Rapid manufacturing on-demand could put warehouses, molds into the past October 17th, 2019

Nanoparticles may have bigger impact on the environment than previously thought: Non-antibacterial nanoparticles can cause resistance in bacteria October 17th, 2019

Possible Futures

Matching Investment Program (MIP) Leverages $140K Empire State Development/NYSTAR Funding to SUNY Poly’s CATN2 to Enable $1.5M in Matching Commitments from Industry Partners: Investment Funds Faculty Research Related to Advanced Materials, Genomics, and Semiconductor Reliability October 18th, 2019

How perovskite in solar cells recrystallizes and why modified carbon nanotubes can help overcome the reproducibility problem by making use of this October 18th, 2019

Novel nanoprobes show promise for optical monitoring of neural activity: New approach for studying neural circuits offers advantages over both microelectrodes and fluorescence-based optical techniques that require genetic modifications October 18th, 2019

Highest-throughput 3D printer is future of manufacturing: Rapid manufacturing on-demand could put warehouses, molds into the past October 17th, 2019

Discoveries

How perovskite in solar cells recrystallizes and why modified carbon nanotubes can help overcome the reproducibility problem by making use of this October 18th, 2019

Novel nanoprobes show promise for optical monitoring of neural activity: New approach for studying neural circuits offers advantages over both microelectrodes and fluorescence-based optical techniques that require genetic modifications October 18th, 2019

Highest-throughput 3D printer is future of manufacturing: Rapid manufacturing on-demand could put warehouses, molds into the past October 17th, 2019

Nanoparticles may have bigger impact on the environment than previously thought: Non-antibacterial nanoparticles can cause resistance in bacteria October 17th, 2019

Materials/Metamaterials

Physicists found weak spots in ceramic/graphene composites: Physicists found out the structures in nanomaterials made of ceramic and graphene plates, in which cracks appear most frequently September 27th, 2019

Turning heat into electricity: A new thermoelectric material developed at FEFU: Young scientists from FEFU manufactured new thermoelectric material based on strontium titanate and titanium oxide September 27th, 2019

The future of materials with graphene nanotubes starts in Japan September 19th, 2019

A Quantum Leap: $25M grant makes UC Santa Barbara home to the nation’s first NSF-funded Quantum Foundry, a center for development of materials for quantum information-based technologies September 16th, 2019

Announcements

Matching Investment Program (MIP) Leverages $140K Empire State Development/NYSTAR Funding to SUNY Poly’s CATN2 to Enable $1.5M in Matching Commitments from Industry Partners: Investment Funds Faculty Research Related to Advanced Materials, Genomics, and Semiconductor Reliability October 18th, 2019

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals Hosts R&D Day on Emerging Pipeline of RNAi Therapeutics October 18th, 2019

How perovskite in solar cells recrystallizes and why modified carbon nanotubes can help overcome the reproducibility problem by making use of this October 18th, 2019

Novel nanoprobes show promise for optical monitoring of neural activity: New approach for studying neural circuits offers advantages over both microelectrodes and fluorescence-based optical techniques that require genetic modifications October 18th, 2019

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

How perovskite in solar cells recrystallizes and why modified carbon nanotubes can help overcome the reproducibility problem by making use of this October 18th, 2019

Novel nanoprobes show promise for optical monitoring of neural activity: New approach for studying neural circuits offers advantages over both microelectrodes and fluorescence-based optical techniques that require genetic modifications October 18th, 2019

Nanoparticles may have bigger impact on the environment than previously thought: Non-antibacterial nanoparticles can cause resistance in bacteria October 17th, 2019

Physics: DNA-PAINT super-resolution microscopy at speed: Optimized DNA sequences allow for 10-times faster image acquisition in DNA-PAINT October 11th, 2019

Military

Highest-throughput 3D printer is future of manufacturing: Rapid manufacturing on-demand could put warehouses, molds into the past October 17th, 2019

CCNY physicists score double hit in LED research September 27th, 2019

A chameleon-inspired smart skin changes color in the sun September 11th, 2019

Hard as a diamond? Scientists predict new forms of superhard carbon: A study identifies dozens of new carbon structures that are expected to be superhard, including some that may be about as hard as diamonds September 9th, 2019

Grants/Sponsored Research/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

Matching Investment Program (MIP) Leverages $140K Empire State Development/NYSTAR Funding to SUNY Poly’s CATN2 to Enable $1.5M in Matching Commitments from Industry Partners: Investment Funds Faculty Research Related to Advanced Materials, Genomics, and Semiconductor Reliability October 18th, 2019

Highest-throughput 3D printer is future of manufacturing: Rapid manufacturing on-demand could put warehouses, molds into the past October 17th, 2019

Water + air + electricity = hydrogen peroxide: Rice University breakthrough produces valuable chemical on demand at point of use October 10th, 2019

Novel nanogels hold promise for improved drug delivery to cancer patients: 'Precision Medicine' approach underpins UT Austin engineers' development of multifunctional nanogel September 27th, 2019

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project