In 2004 the isolation of graphene started to synthesize two-dimensional materials. 2D materials are thick and have a single layer substance. The atom and nanometers are between them. They have genuine properties linked to their minimized dimensionality and play a major role in the improvement of nanoengineering and nanotechnology.

The group of international researchers including Brazilian scientists affiliated with the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) is successful in producing a new material with these characteristics. The researchers took out a 2D material that is called as hematine from ordinary iron ore that mined in various part of the world including Brazil. The material is thick atoms and enhanced photocatalytic properties. 

The new discovery is described in an article published in Nature Nanotechnology. The research happened at the Center for Computational Engineering and Sciences (CES), one of the Research, Innovation and Dissemination Centers (RIDCs) funded by the Sao Paulo Research Foundation – FAPESP. During the internship research that was supported by FAPESP.

Douglas SoaresGalvao, one of the authors of the study and co-principal investigator at CES said that they synthesized material that acts as a photocatalyst to split water into oxygen and hydrogen. For example- it has several other beneficial applications. One of the common materials on earth was exfoliated from hematite and this is the cheapest metal, used in various products and used for making steel. 

Carbon and 2D form graphene, hematite is a Waals material, that means its combined together by 3D bonding networks. This does not have the electrons sharing and its weaker atomic van der Waals. In fact, this is a natural mineral, it has highly oriented crystals and its non-van der Waals material. The researchers explain that this is an exclusive material for the 2D material exfoliation. 

Galvao said that most of the 2D materials combined from the samples of der Waals solids. These Waals 2D materials are highly ordered atomic layers and extensive grains are rare. 

The researchers also experimented with hematene’sphotocatalytic properties and its capacity has to increase the speed of a chemical reaction at the time of energizing the light. The result showed about the photocatalysis by hematine and it’s more efficient. These photocatalytic properties are popular but not stronger enough to be useful. 

The group of scientists has investigated the potentiality of the 2D materials with amazing properties.