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New synthesis route for MXenes: adding multifunctionality to interfaces and devices

Grant number: 23/07552-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2023
Effective date (End): September 30, 2025
Field of knowledge:Interdisciplinary Subjects
Principal Investigator:Antonio Riul Júnior
Grantee:Leonardo Mathias Leidens
Host Institution: Instituto de Física Gleb Wataghin (IFGW). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil


2D materials have attracted great attention from researchers due to their unique properties, being one of the most fruitful and remarkable areas nowadays. The MXenes form an emerging family of transition metal carbides and/or nitrides. The two-dimensional morphology and ease of combination in different structures, combined with high electrical conductivity, place the MXenes as promising materials in different applications. However, despite being highly innovative and versatile materials, the synthesis routes of the MXenes are traditionally obtained by chemical routes under extreme conditions, such as etching a complex metallic phase with hydrofluoric acid (HF). This ends up limiting, hindering the exploration, and generating a paradigm in the area. Our proposal is aimed at validating an unprecedented physical synthesis route for MXenes, eliminating the use of strong acids, which, in addition to being environmentally friendly, enhances the applications. The methodology joins the consolidated physical vapor deposition (PVD) technique with an innovative system of dynamic variation of the angular position of the substrate, which allows great control and adjustment during the deposition of thin films. Once the new synthesis route of MXenes has been validated, supported by the characterizations and understanding of the fundamentals that govern the formation and properties of the materials obtained, as a proof of principle we will test the materials as sensory units in an impedimetric electronic tongue. Additionally, we will perform computational modeling of the deposition, and thermodynamic simulations to determine the most favorable conditions for the formation of phases of interest. It is important to emphasize that we will count on the valuable collaboration of Prof. Fernando Alvarez, as per the attached letter of support. We reiterate that the determination (and validation) of a physical route for obtaining MXenes would a groundbreaking inovation, which puts us in a prominent place in the area, with the solution of theoretical and experimental challenges that last since the creation of these materials, amplifying the potential of application in different scientific and technological areas. (AU)

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