Ionic solutions of two-dimensional materials

Patrick Cullen, Kathleen Cox, mohammed Subhan, Loren Picco, Oliver Payton, David Buckley, Thomas Miller, Stephen Hodge, Neal T Skipper, Vasiliki Tileli, Christopher Howard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)
449 Downloads (Pure)


Strategies for forming liquid dispersions of nanomaterials typically focus on retarding reaggregation, for example via surface modification, as opposed to promoting the thermodynamically driven dissolution common for molecule-sized species. Here we demonstrate the true dissolution of a wide range of important 2D nanomaterials by forming layered material salts that spontaneously dissolve in polar solvents yielding ionic solutions. The benign dissolution advantageously maintains the morphology of the starting material, is stable against reaggregation and can achieve solutions containing exclusively individualized monolayers. Importantly, the charge on the anionic nanosheet solutes is reversible, enables targeted deposition over large areas via electroplating and can initiate novel self-assembly upon drying. Our findings thus reveal a unique solution-like behaviour for 2D materials that enables their scalable production and controlled manipulation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244–249
Number of pages6
JournalNature Chemistry
Issue number3
Early online date21 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


  • AFM
  • graphene
  • Characterisation
  • Manufacture


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