Can you tell what it is yet?

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.


  1. David says:

    Amazing! I really thought it was a geological feature at first. Electron micrography is excellent – plenty of art, waiting to be created.

  2. So true – if I could just get my hands on an electron microscope…

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