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Discovering a new family of atomic ultra-thin electride materials

The yellow isosurface in the left panel shows the electrons localized between the C3 trimers. There are no trapped electrons in the ionized structure on the right, and some M atoms are largely displaced. This displacement of the M atom again significantly stabilizes the ionized structure. Credits: Soungmin Bae and Hannes Raebiger

Exploratory research into the behavior of materials with desirable electrical properties has uncovered the structural phases of two-dimensional (2D) materials. The new set of materials is electride, in which electrons occupy the space normally reserved for an atom or ion instead of orbiting the nucleus of the atom or ion. Stable, low-energy, adjustable materials have potential applications in nanotechnology.


An international research team led by Associate Professor Hannes Reybiger of the Faculty of Physics, Yokohama National University announced the results as a frontispiece on June 10. Advanced functional material..

Initially, the team set out to better understand the basic characteristics of a 2D system known as Sc.2CO2This system, which contains two metallic scandium atoms, one carbon atom, and two oxygen atoms, belongs to a family of chemical compounds collectively called MXenes. They are usually composed of a layer of carbon or nitrogen that is one atom thick, sandwiched between metal layers, and are interspersed with oxygen or fluorine atoms.

Researchers were particularly interested in MXene Sc.2CO2 This is because of the prediction that the system will have the desired electrical properties when structured into a hexagonal phase.

“Despite these fascinating predictions about the hexagonal phase of Sc2CO2, We are not yet aware of its successful production, “said Sungmin Bae, the lead author and researcher at the Faculty of Physics, Yokohama National University,” analyzing its basic properties reveals a whole new structural phase. I found it. “

The new structural phase provides a new electride material. Atomic-thin 2D structural phases are described as tile-like shapes that form the central carbon plane. The previously predicted shape was a hexagon with carbon atoms at all vertices and one carbon atom in the center. The new material is shaped like a rhombus, with electrons at the vertices and a carbon trimer (a row of three carbon atoms) in the center.

“Carbon is one of the most common substances on earth and is very important to living organisms, but it is rarely seen as a trimer,” says Raebiger. “The nearest place carbon Trimers are usually found in the interstellar space. “

The overall shape is less symmetric than the ones mentioned above. Hexagonal structureHowever, it is more symmetric with respect to the central plane. According to Raebiger, this structure offers unique properties with the advent of a new family of electrides.

“Electrons contain electrons as structural units and are often very good electrical conductors,” says Raebiger. “The current electride family is insulators, and most insulators can be made conductive by adding or removing electrons, but these materials simply increase the insulation.”

MXenes is particularly attractive as a material because it can be reconstituted with other metallic elements to provide a wealth of properties such as adjustable conductivity, various forms of magnetism, and to accelerate chemical reactions as catalysts. is. Besides, it is an ultra-thin sheet with a few atoms, that is, a 2D material. The newly discovered electride has electrons in the gaps of the lattice. atom Ions are easily released into the surrounding space, such as the electron source of a large particle accelerator, and are borrowed to catalyze certain desired chemical reactions.

“I made this discovery because I wanted to understand how these materials work,” says Bae. “If you have any questions, dig deeper.”

Co-authors include William Espinosa-García and Gustavo M. Dalpian, Centro de Ciências Naturais e Humanas, Universidade Federal do ABC, and Brazil. Yoon Gu Kang and Myung Jun Han, Department of Physics, Korea Institute of Advanced Science and Technology. Juho Lee and Young Hoon Kim, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Korean Academy of Science and Technology; Noriyuki Egawa, Kazuaki Kuwahata, Kaoru Ohno (Department of Physics, Yokohama National University), Mohammad Khazaei and Hosono Hideo, Center for Elemental Strategic Materials, Tokyo Institute of Technology. Espinosa-García is also affiliated with Grupo de investigación en Modelamienot y Simulación Computacional, Facultad de Ingenierías and Universidad de San Buenaventura-Medellín.


New microscopy technology reveals features that can shape applications in the class of quantum materials


For more information:
Soungmin Bae et al, MXene phase with C 3 structural units: family of 2D electrides, Advanced functional material (2021). DOI: 10.1002 / adfm.202100009

Provided by Yokohama National University

Quote: A new family of atomic thin electride materials discovered (June 10, 2021) was published on June 10, 2021 at https://phys.org/news/2021-06-family-atomic-thin-electride. Obtained from -materials.html.

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Discovering a new family of atomic ultra-thin electride materials

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