2, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, United States
The properties of 2D materials can be affected by doping or defect engineering. However the creation of selected defects and their role in changing surface properties such as hydrophilicity remain unclear, mostly due to the paucity of tolls to probe materials properties at the sub-micrometer scale. This limitation can be surpassed by exploiting the functional modes of atomic force microscopy, including force spectroscopy, electrostatic force microscopy and nanoscale infrared spectroscopy.
In this study, we discuss several means of controllably introducing defects in 2D materials, including using heat treatment and high energy bombardment. We show that the defect created affect the structural, mechanical and electrical properties. In turn, we present some evidence that the defects can become sites for selected chemical reaction. Finally, we monitor the changes in hydrophilic properties and explore the affinity of selected molecules with defect-laden 2D materials using functionalized AFM cantilevers. The study constitutes a new approach to understanding the mechanisms of catalysis at the nanoscale, with implications for large scale catalysts production and reactions.