February 19, 2012
|Image: Babak Anasori/Michael Naguib/Yury Gogotsi/Michel W. Barsoum/Drexel University [high-resolution]|
Why it’s nano-material titanium cliffs of course.
Alright, so perhaps you didn’t get that straight off – it’s pretty awesome though, huh? This microscopic cliff-like overhang is an electron micrograph of super-thin layers of a titanium compound. When dunked in hydrofluoric acid, a compound known as Ti3AlC2* loses its aluminum to form layers of Ti3C2 that are just five atoms thick. The result is a nearly two-dimensional compound called “MXene”.
*you can probably just skim right over that jumble of letters and numbers – like the first time you read ‘Hermione’ in Harry Potter.
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