We leverage on our state-of-the-art synthesis capabilities to synthesize hybrid nanomaterials. For example, one can think of combining the nanowire and graphene worlds to form materials with new physical and chemical properties. In our recently published work, we were able to demonstrate, for the first time, the direct synthesis 3-D out-of-plane graphene on a nanowire-mesh template (thus the name- Nanowire-mesh Templated 3-Dimensional Fuzzy Graphene). We were able to develop 3D morphology of out-of-plane growth of graphene hybrid-nanomaterials that leverages graphene’s outstanding surface-to-volume ratio.
Nanowire-mesh Templated 3D Fuzzy Graphene (NT-3DFG)
We have also demonstrated novel synthesis of in-plane Ge nanowires (or Ge nanocrawlers) on single layer graphene substrates. Since its discovery graphene was used as a platform for synthesis of various materials such as zero-dimensional materials (nano particles), one-dimensional materials (nanowires), two-dimensional materials and polymers. The growth of in-plane nanowires on graphene has not been investigated to-date. Our work investigates the conditions that will lead to in-plane nanowires growth on graphene, or as we refer to them nanocrawlers. Additionally, we also developed a thermodynamic model to explain this phenomenon.
Ge nanocrawlers grown on graphene
These basic science studies will shed light on 3D graphene growth as well as crystal growth on graphene, thereby potentially enabling development of hybrid materials that can be used as photo-sensors or electrical devices.