A framework is developed to allow emulsification to be used to fabricate functional structures from, and study the properties of, pristine layered nanosheets. Liquid-exfoliated few-layer graphene and MoS2 are demonstrated to stablize emulsions which exhibit system-scale electrical conductivity at ultra-low nanosheet volume fractions. When deposited on a substrate, the controlled drying dynamics of these emulsions facilitates their application as inks where the lack of any coffee ring effect allows manual deposition of high conductivity films. In order to broaden the range of compositions and subsequently applications, an understanding of emulsion stability and orientation in terms of surface energy of the three phases is developed. Importantly, this model facilitates determination of the surface energies of the nanosheets themselves and subsequently allows design of emulsions. Finally, emulsification by surfactant-exfoliated nanosheets and emulsion inversion using basic solution are demonstrated to allow water-based processing where composition and orientation can be tailored to enable applications.
|Publication status||Published - 13 May 2020|
- Scanning electron microscopy