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Open AccessArticle

Scalable Exfoliation of Bulk MoS2 to Single- and Few-Layers Using Toroidal Taylor Vortices

1
School of Mechanical Engineering, Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, Gyeonggi-do 16419, Korea
2
SKKU Advanced Institute of Nanotechnology (SAINT), Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon, Gyeonggi-do 16419, Korea
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Nanomaterials 2018, 8(8), 587; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano8080587
Received: 1 July 2018 / Revised: 27 July 2018 / Accepted: 30 July 2018 / Published: 1 August 2018
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Abstract

The production of a large amount of high-quality transition metal dichalcogenides is critical for their use in industrial applications. Here, we demonstrate the scalable exfoliation of bulk molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) powders into single- or few-layer nanosheets using the Taylor-Couette flow. The toroidal Taylor vortices generated in the Taylor-Couette flow provide efficient mixing and high shear stresses on the surfaces of materials, resulting in a more efficient exfoliation of the layered materials. The bulk MoS2 powders dispersed in N-methyl-2-pyrrolidone (NMP) were exfoliated with the Taylor-Couette flow by varying the process parameters, including the initial concentration of MoS2 in the NMP, rotation speed of the reactor, reaction time, and temperature. With a batch process at an optimal condition, half of the exfoliated MoS2 nanosheets were thinner than ~3 nm, corresponding to single to ~4 layers. The spectroscopic and microscopic analysis revealed that the exfoliated MoS2 nanosheets contained the same quality as the bulk powders without any contamination or modification. Furthermore, the continuous exfoliation of MoS2 was demonstrated by the Taylor-Couette flow reactor, which produced an exfoliated MoS2 solution with a concentration of ~0.102 mg/mL. This technique is a promising way for the scalable production of single- or few-layer MoS2 nanosheets without using hazardous intercalation materials. View Full-Text
Keywords: molybdenum disulfide; exfoliation; Taylor-Couette flow; continuous production molybdenum disulfide; exfoliation; Taylor-Couette flow; continuous production
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Kaushik, V.; Wu, S.; Jang, H.; Kang, J.; Kim, K.; Suk, J.W. Scalable Exfoliation of Bulk MoS2 to Single- and Few-Layers Using Toroidal Taylor Vortices. Nanomaterials 2018, 8, 587.

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