Two-dimensional (2D) transition metal dihalogenides (TMD), such as molybdenite (MoS)2), who have a similar graphene structure, have been dressed in the materials of the future for their wide range of potential applications in biomedicine, sensors, catalysts, photodetectors and energy storage devices. The smaller equivalent of 2D TMDs, also known as TMD quantum points (QDs), further emphasizes the optical and electronic properties of TMD and is extremely useful for catalytic and biomedical applications. However, TMD CTs are poorly used in applications, as the synthesis of TMD CT remains challenging.
Now, engineers at the National University of Singapore (NUS) have developed an economical and scalable strategy for synthesizing TMP. The new strategy also allows TMD's QD properties to be designed specifically for different applications, thus making a leap forward in helping to realize the potential of TMD QD.
Bottom-up strategy for TMD synthesis
The current TMD nanomaterial synthesis is based on a top-down approach where TMD's mineral ores are collected and shattered from a millimeter to nanometer scale by physical or chemical means. This method, although effective in the synthesis of nanomaterials with TMD with precision, is of low scalability and cost, since the separation of nanomaterial fragments by size requires a number of purification processes. Using the same method to produce accurate sized TDCs is extremely difficult due to their small size.
To overcome this challenge, a team of engineers from the Department of Chemicals and Biomolecular Engineering at the Engineering Faculty of the NUK has developed a new bottom-up synthesis strategy that can consistently construct QD for a specific size, a cheaper and more expansive method than the conventional top-down approach. TMD KT are synthesized by reacting oxides or transition metal chlorides with halogen precursors under mild aqueous and room temperature conditions. Using the bottom-up approach, the team successfully synthesized a small library of seven TMD QDs and was able to change their electronic and optical properties accordingly.
Associate Professor David Leong of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the Technical Faculty of the NMS leads the development of this new method of synthesis. He explained that "using the bottom-up approach to synthesize TMP is similar to building a building from scratch with concrete, steel and glass components; it gives us complete control over the design and the characteristics of the building. allows to change the ratio of transition metal ions and chalcogenic ions in the TMT synthesis reaction with TMD with our desired properties and, furthermore, through our bottom-up approach, we can synthesize new TMD tests that do not occur naturally. They can have new properties that can lead to newer applications. "
Applying diagnostic tests for TMD in cancer therapy and beyond
Then the NUS engineers team synthesized the MoS2 CT to demonstrate evidence for biomedical applications. Through their experiments the team showed that the defective properties of MoS2 CT can be designed with precision using a bottom-up approach to generate different levels of oxidative stress and can therefore be used for photodynamic therapy, a new cancer therapy.
"Photodynamic therapy currently uses photosensitive organic compounds that produce oxidative stress to kill cancer cells, and these organics can remain in the body for several days, and patients receiving this type of photodynamic therapy are advised against unnecessary exposure to bright light. motorways of the sea2 CT can offer a safer alternative to these organic compounds as some transition metals such as Mo are basic minerals and can be rapidly metabolized after photodynamic treatment. We will conduct additional tests to verify this. ", Added Professor Leon.
However, the potential of TMD QD far exceeds only biomedical applications. Continuing on, the team is working on expanding its QD library for TMD using the bottom-up strategy and optimizing it for other applications, such as next-generation TVs and electronic device screens, advanced electronics components, and even solar cells.
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Materials provided by National University of Singapore, Note: Content can be edited for style and length.