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Production of highly monolayer enriched dispersions of liquid-exfoliated nanosheets by liquid cascade centrifugation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • C. Backes
  • B.M. Szydłowska
  • A. Harvey
  • S. Yuan
  • V. Vega-Mayoral
  • B.R. Davies
  • P.-L. Zhao
  • D. Hanlon
  • E.J.G. Santos
  • M.I. Katsnelson
  • W.J. Blau
  • C. Gadermaier
  • J.N. Coleman

Related Edinburgh Organisations

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1589-1601
Number of pages13
JournalAcs nano
Issue number1
Early online date5 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2016


While liquid exfoliation is a powerful technique to produce defect-free nanosheets in large quantities, its usefulness is limited by broad nanosheet thickness distributions and low monolayer contents. Here we demonstrate liquid processing techniques, based on iterative centrifugation cascades, which can be designed to achieve either highly efficient nanosheet size-selection and/or monolayer enrichment. The resultant size-selected dispersions were used to establish quantitative metrics to determine monolayer volume fraction, as well as mean nanosheet size and thickness, from standard spectroscopic measurements. Such metrics allowed us to design and optimize centrifugation cascades to enrich liquid exfoliated WS2 dispersions up to monolayer contents of 75%. Monolayer-rich dispersions show relatively bright photoluminescence with narrow line widths (<35 meV) indicating the high quality of the nanosheets. The enriched dispersions display extinction spectra with distinct features, which also allow the direct estimation of monolayer contents.

ID: 159093006