A liquid metal reaction environment for the room-temperature synthesis of atomically thin metal oxides
Two-dimensional (2D) oxides have a wide variety of applications in electronics and other technologies. However, many oxides are not easy to synthesize as 2D materials through conventional methods. We used nontoxic eutectic gallium-based alloys as a reaction solvent and co-alloyed desired metals into the melt. On the basis of thermodynamic considerations, we predicted the composition of the self-limiting interfacial oxide. We isolated the surface oxide as a 2D layer, either on substrates or in suspension. This enabled us to produce extremely thin subnanometer layers of HfO2, Al2O3, and Gd2O3. The liquid metal–based reaction route can be used to create 2D materials that were previously inaccessible with preexisting methods. The work introduces room-temperature liquid metals as a reaction environment for the synthesis of oxide nanomaterials with low dimensionality.
Publisher URL: http://science.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/short/358/6361/332