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Ultrafast Electrochemical Expansion of Black Phosphorus toward High-Yield Synthesis of Few-Layer Phosphorene

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posted on 03.04.2018, 00:00 by Jing Li, Cheng Chen, Shule Liu, Junpeng Lu, Wei Peng Goh, Hanyan Fang, Zhizhan Qiu, Bingbing Tian, Zhongxin Chen, Chuanhao Yao, Wei Liu, Huan Yan, Ying Yu, Dan Wang, Yewu Wang, Ming Lin, Chenliang Su, Jiong Lu
To bridge the gap between laboratory research and commercial applications, it is vital to develop scalable methods to produce large quantities of high-quality and solution-processable few-layer phosphorene (FLBP). Here, we report an ultrafast cathodic expansion (in minutes) of bulk black phosphorus in the nonaqueous electrolyte of tetraalkylammonium salts that allows for the high-yield (>80%) synthesis of nonoxidative few-layer BP flakes with high crystallinity in ambient conditions. Our detailed mechanistic studies reveal that cathodic intercalation and subsequent decomposition of solvated cations result in the ultrafast expansion of BP toward the high-yield production of FLBP. The FLBPs thus obtained show negligible structural deterioration, excellent electronic properties, great solution processability, and high air stability, which allows us to prepare stable BP inks (2 mg/mL) in low-boiling point solvents for large-area inkjet printing and fabrication of optoelectronic devices.