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Chemical Communications 2015, 51(48), 9899-9902

Simultaneous self-exfoliation and autonomous motion of MoS2 particles in water

Two-dimensional (2D) transitional metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) have been receiving significant research interest due to their unique physical and electronic properties. We report the design of a MoS2 based motor that can display simultaneous self-exfoliation and autonomous motion at the surface of water. Exfoliation of bulk MoS2 via sodium intercalation offers an attractive way to obtain solution-phase 2D MoS2 nanosheets on a large scale. The motion of the MoS2 particles results from the surface tension gradients generated by the naphthalene distributed in the MoS2 particles. A combination of self-exfoliation and propulsion in an unmodified water environment hence leads to a new platform which holds great promise for new applications of TMDC materials in small scale motors.

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