Two-Dimensional Nanoporous Silicates and Their Potential Applications

J.Q. Zhong, J. Kestell, N. Akter, T. Kim, M. Wang, D. Lu, I. Galuskina, D.J. Stacchiola, J.A. Boscoboinik
Brookhaven National Laboratory,
United States

Keywords: nanosheets, zeolites, nanoporous silicates, surface science


Ultra-thin two-dimensional inorganic nanoporous silicates have been recently synthesized. They are as thin as 0.5 nm, can be produced in the form of ordered structures or glasses and doped with other elements, such as aluminum. This new family of materials can be potentially used for various applications. While they were originally intended for model surface science studies to mimic zeolites (the most used catalysts in the industry), other potential uses have emerged. They have been recently shown for example to prevent corrosion of the metallic surface laying under this 0.5 nm film at conditions at which the metal would normally oxidize. They can also act as atomic and molecular sieves and they can even trap single noble gas atoms in the nano-cages they are made of. There are however still many limitations that need to be overcome if they are to be used in a larger scale, including the currently expensive and time-consuming synthesis and the lack of a simple way to transfer the 2D structure from the surface where it was prepared onto other surfaces. This paper summarizes the preparation and surface science characterization of this new family of materials down to the atomic scale as well as its potential applications and efforts to simplify its synthesis and transfer to other substrates.