Layered materials are foundational to many technologies, such as lithium-ion batteries. However, expanding these materials to include diverse chemistries remains challenging. In this talk, I will address three effort in our lab that seek to expand the scope of structures and properties of these fascinating materials:
First, I will describe a simple and generalisable strategy to self-assemble virtually any molecule with a 2D semiconductor into 3D materials with customisable stacking sequences. Our simulations show how these solids form from a liquid crystalline phase and our experiments demonstrate how the resulting 3D solids merge two unexpected properties: quantum confinement and high electrical conductivity.
Second, I will present our efforts to discover layered electrides; unique ionic solids with lattice sites containing bare electrons instead of anions. We explore the intercalation of fluoride ions into electrides, with the goal of enabling high-performance fluoride-ion batteries.
Third, I will describe our efforts to solve the atomistic structure of thin (‘2D’) amorphous films. I will demonstrate software that allows one to identify local structures in amorphous materials using a statistically rigorous methodology, while highlighting opportunities that are likely to emerge from this capability.