Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin. ›› 2017, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (3): 464-475.doi: 10.3866/PKU.WHXB201611152

• FEATURE ARTICLE • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Liquid Metal Catalyst: Philosopher's Stone of Two-Dimensional Materials

Meng-Qi ZENG,Tao ZHANG,Li-Fang TAN,Lei FU*()   

  • Received:2016-10-10 Published:2017-03-07
  • Contact: Lei FU
  • Supported by:
    the National Natural Science Foundation of China(51322209);the National Natural Science Foundation of China(21473124);the National Natural Science Foundation of China(21673161)


Graphene and graphene-like two-dimensional (2D) materials exhibit broad prospects for application in emerging electronics owing to their unique structure and excellent properties. However, there are still many challenges facing the achievement of controllable growth, which is the main bottleneck that limits the practical application of these materials. Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) is the most effective method for the controllable growth of high-quality graphene, in which the design of the catalytic substrate catches the most attention because it directly determines the two most significant basal processes--catalyzation and mass transfer. Recently, compared with the selection of the chemical composition of the catalyst, the change of the physical state of the catalyst from a solid phase to liquid phase is expected to lead to a qualitative change and improvement in the CVD of graphene and graphene-like two-dimensional materials. Unlike solid substrates, liquid substrates exhibit a loose atomic arrangement and intense atom movement, which contribute to a smooth and isotropic liquid surface and a fluidic liquid phase that can embed heteroatoms. Therefore, liquid metal shows many unique behaviors during the catalyzation of the growth of graphene, graphene-like two dimensional materials, and their heterostructures, such as strict self-limitation, ultra-fast growth, and smooth stitching of grains. More importantly, the rheological properties of a liquid substrate can even facilitate the self-assembly and transfer of 2D materials grown on it, in which the liquid metal substrate can be regarded as the 'philosopher's stone'. This feature article summarizes the growth, assembly, and transfer behavior of 2D materials on liquid metal catalysts. These primary technology developments will establish a solid foundation for the practical application of 2D materials.

Key words: Liquid metal, Two-dimensional material, Growth, Assembly, Transfer


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