Low-Dimensional Diamonds

Single-layer diamond-like structure (‘diamane’) is a new 2D form of carbon first predicted theoretically followed by recent experimental realisation. In collaboration with Prof Marc Dubois (UCA), our lab reported the experimental liquid-phase preparation of fluorinated diamane (‘F-diamane’) from graphite flakes (Carbon, 2021, 175, 124; Appl. Surf. Sci., 2022, 152534). 

Artificial Carbon Materials

Our lab has a strong interest in the assembly of nano-carbons and related 2D materials (Chem. Commun. 2012, 48, 11407; Chem. Commun. 2013, 49, 4845; Chem. Commun. 2013, 49, 8172; Chem. Commun. 2015, 51, 2399; Chem. Commun. 2020, 56, 7325). We are currently focusing on using fullerenes, especially C60, as fundamental building blocks for creating new carbon-based materials.

'Graphenic' Paper

We transformed large-area films made of stacked/overlapping graphene oxide platelets into ‘graphenic’ films that are highly flexible and have high electrical and thermal conductivities (ACS Nano, 2016, 11, 665; Carbon, 2016, 101, 71; Carbon, 2018, 132, 294). We also reported uniform dispersion of various metal single atoms embedded in the ‘graphenic’ films under spatial confinement (Carbon, 2022, 188, 367), and the preparation of freestanding, transparent, highly electrically and thermally conductive ultrathin graphene films (Adv. Mater. 2021, 33, 2104195).

Functional Metallic Nanostructures

We developed methods in producing multi-functional metal/metal-alloy nanostructures, enhancing their catalytic activity for water splitting and carbon dioxide electroreduction (Energy Environ. Sci. 2020, 13, 4225-4237; Chem. Mater. 2020, 32, 4303-4311; Adv. Funct. Mater. 2021, 31, 2107072; ACS Catalysis 2020, 10, 13171-13178). We also explored embedding metal atoms or nanoclusters into carbon, revealing that externally applied pressure affects graphitization and metal distribution, as well as the mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties of the films, crucial for applications in catalysis and energy storage (Carbon 2022, 188, 367-375). 

2D Membranes

We studied water permeation through graphene oxide membranes (Carbon, 2020, 170, 646) and liquid-phase water isotope separation to enrich deuterium and 18O in natural water using 2D membranes (Carbon, 2022, 186, 344). A 'stage-1' cationic C60 intercalated graphene oxide films was made showing water vapour passing through with almost no resistance and >10 times faster liquid water permeation, compared to graphene oxide membranes (Carbon, 2021, 175, 131). 

Shock Synthesis

We used domestic microwave for solid-state, shock conversion of graphene with the ability of simultaneous embedment of metals and/or heteroatom doping (Mater. Chem. Front. 2019, 3, 1433). The same strategy allowed rapid production of graphene fluoride (Small, 2020, 16, 1903397). These materials were used in electrochemical processes including batteries, electroreduction of CO2, and water electrolysis.

Chemical Vapour Deposition

Our lab is working on the growth, transfer, and folding/stacking of 2D films, including (i) growth of AB-stacked bi-layer and ABA-stacked tri-layer graphene films (Nature Nanotechnol. 2020, 15, 289); (ii) non-destructive transferring CVD graphene films (Chem. Mater. 2017, 29, 4546); (iii) folding of graphene with defined stacking orders (Nano Lett. 2017, 17, 1467); and (iv) layer-by-layer assembly of graphene into macroscopic films (Adv. Mater. 2019, 31, 1909039).


We are always open to discussions about new research projects and collaborations!