Low-Dimensional Materials: New Developments and Current Challenges


Friday, 14 June, 2019 -
14:00 to 15:00


Chemical science Building, Mezzanine Level,Room M11


School of Chemistry

Type of event: 


The speaker will present his team’s recent efforts on the synthesis and application of multi-dimensional carbon and 2D materials, including tuning their properties through heteroatom doping. 

The speaker will describe the synthesis of carbon nanotubes and nanotube networks using different dopants during chemical vapour deposition. In particular, the effects of sulfur, boron and nitrogen will be discussed. For example, sulfur induces the formation of pentagons and heptagons, whereas boron aids the growth of heptagonal carbon rings, and nitrogen promotes the formation of pentagonal cusps. It will be demonstrated that it is indeed possible to assemble/grow carbon nanotube networks if a careful control of dopants is achieved during chemical vapour deposition (CVD) growth. High-resolution electron energy loss spectroscopy (HR-EELS) studies on these nanotube materials will be presented, and the locations of boron, sulfur and nitrogen within nanotubes will also be shown. First principles theoretical calculations on nanotubes containing pentagon, hexagons and heptagons in the presence of these dopants will be discussed. The speaker will also discuss the cytotoxicity and applications as molecular sensors and virus traps of these doped nanocarbons.

This talk will also discuss the synthesis of large-area, high-quality monolayers of nitrogen-, silicon- and boron-doped graphene sheets on Cu foils using ambient-pressure chemical vapour deposition (AP-CVD). Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and spectroscopy (STS) reveal that the defects in the doped graphene samples arrange in different geometrical configurations exhibiting different electronic and magnetic properties. Interestingly, these doped layers could be used as efficient molecular sensors in conjunction with Raman spectroscopy. In addition, the synthesis of hybrid carbon materials consisting of interconnected graphene layers (graphene foams) by solvothermal routes will be discussed. These foams are highly conducting, very robust and can operate at temperatures ranging from 77K to 1173K.

Finally, the speaker will introduce ATOMIC, a National Science Foundation and industry funded research center, which is devoted to the design and development of advanced coatings based on two-dimensional (2D) layered materials, and synergistically integrates world-leading faculty, researchers, students and staff from The Pennsylvania State University and Rice University with industry and national labs. ATOMIC provides a platform for public agencies and companies to cost-effectively collaborate on shared, pre-competitive research topics by leveraging R&D investment to access world class facilities, faculty and graduate students. Recent Penn State research in the area of 2D materials will also be summarized and presented.


[1] Y.-T. Yeh, Y. Tang, A. Sebastian, A. Dasgupta, N. Perea-Lopez, I. Albert, H. Lu, M. Terrones, S.-Y. Zheng. (2016) “Tunable and Label-Free Virus Enrichment for Ultra-sensitive Virus Detection Using Carbon Nanotube Arrays”. Science Advances 2: e1601026.

[2] S. Feng,  M. C. dos Santos, B. R. Carvalho, R. Lv, Q. Li, K. Fujisawa, A. L. Elías, Y. Lei, N. Perea-López, M. Endo, M. Pan, M. A. Pimenta, M. Terrones (2016). "Ultrasensitive molecular sensor using N-doped graphene through enhanced Raman scattering". Science Advances 2, e1600322.

[3] S. Feng, Z. Lin, X. Gan, R. Lv, M. Terrones. (2017) “Doping two-dimensional materials: ultra-sensitive sensors, band gap tuning and ferromagnetic monolayers”, Nanoscale Horizons, 2, 2, 72-80.

[4] Y. Lei, D. Butler, M. Lucking, F. Zhang, T. Xia, K. Fujisawa, T. Granzier-Nakajima, R. Cruz-Silva, M Endo, H. Terrones, M Terrones, A. Ebrahimi (2019) “Single-Atom Doping of MoS2 with Manganese enables Ultrasensitive Electrochemical Detection of Dopamine: Experimental and DFT Approach”, To be submitted.



Mauricio Terrones, obtained his B.Sc. degree in Engineering Physics with first class honours at Universidad Iberoamericana, and was distinguished as the Best Student of Mexico in Engineering Physics in 1992. In 1994 he started his doctorate degree with Sir Prof. Harold W. Kroto (Nobel Laureate, FRS), and received his D.Phil. degree from University of Sussex in 1998. He has co-authored more than 550 publications in international journals, and counts with more than 50,000 citations to his work (His H index is 102; Google Scholar H=114). He has published in Nature, Science, Phys. Rev. Lett., Nano Lett., Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Materials, Nature Communications, Nature Chemistry, ACS Nano, PNAS, Science Advances, etc. In 1999, he was awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, and carried out research at the Max-Planck Institut für Metallforschung (Stuttgart, Germany). In 2000, he was recipient of the Mexican National Prize for Chemistry. He also received the Javed Husain Prize and the Albert Einstein medal from UNESCO in 2001. In 2005, he received the TWAS Prize in Engineering Physics for his contributions in the field of carbon-based nanomaterials. This prize is given by the Academy of Sciences of the Developing world, and Mauricio is the youngest scientist ever to receive any TWAS award. In 2005, Terrones also received the “José Antonio Villaseñor y Sánchez” Prize, awarded by the governor of the state of San Luis Potosí, for his contributions to Nanoscience. He is member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences since 2002. In 2012 he was elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In 2015, he was elected fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK) and was awarded the Jubilee Professorship from Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden). In 2016, Mauricio was awarded the Faculty Scholar Medal in Physical Sciences (Penn State). In 2017, Terrones was also elected fellow of the American Physical Society (APS). In 2017 and 2018, he was got recognized as a Highly Cited Researcher in Physics, being among the top 1% most cited works according to the Web of Science and Clarivate Analytics. Mauricio is the Editor in Chief of the journal Carbon, and he is currently associate editor of 2D Materials and Nature Scientific Reports. He is Verne M. Willaman Professor of Physics and Distinguished Professor of Physics, Chemistry and Materials Science & Engineering with tenure at Penn State University. He is also the Founder Director of the Center for 2-Dimensional and Layered Materials at Penn State, and also the NSF-IUCRC Center for Atomically Thin Multifunctional Coatings (ATOMIC).

Research: Mauricio Terrones works on low dimensional materials that mainly involve 1- and 2-Dimensions, ranging from carbon nanotubes and graphene nanoribbons to graphene, boron nitride and chalcogenide monolayers. His group concentrates on challenging synthesis of novel nanoscale materials (1D and 2D) with unprecedented physico-chemical properties. Within his group and with close collaborators, he performs theoretical first-principles calculations that predict electronic, chemical, optical and magnetic properties. He also focuses on performing state of-the-art characterization of the produced materials using electronic transport, photo-transport, Raman spectroscopy, aberration corrected transmission electron microscopy, photoluminescence, electron energy loss spectroscopy, etc.