Bulk 2D materials are primarily obtained from layered 2D minerals such as graphite, molybdenite, boron nitride etc. by breaking intermolecular bonds. Forces which are used for breaking intermolecular bonds include externally imposed mechanical forces, or internal chemical & electrochemical reactions. These underlying forces are typically harnessed for the preparation of 2D materials in what is traditionally known as ‘beaker-chemistry’ synthesis. Given the growing demand for 2D materials in particular Graphene and the need for greater product assurance & reliability, lower cost, and environmental sustainability means that there is a need to think carefully and re-design these processes. Flow-based processing of materials and chemicals, in which reactions are conducted on a flowing stream have many advantages such as improved yield & mixing kinetics, and rapid scale up with little process development needs. I will discuss some of our efforts in flow-based processing of 2D materials for various unit processes such as exfoliation of layered materials into 2D materials & deoxygenation of graphene oxide in electrochemical flow reactors. I will also discuss our recent efforts in photo-flow chemistry in producing tailorable holey graphene materials, and subsequent scale-up of synthesis with targeted applications in energy storage, carbon capture, and membrane separations.
Mainak Majumder is a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering of Monash University. He joined Monash as a lecturer in 2010 after his postdoctoral stint at Rice University, USA (2008-2010). He is the Director of the Australian Research Council’s Research Hub on Advanced Manufacturing with 2D Materials (AM2D), and an Associate Director of the Monash Energy Institute. He & his team has taken fundamental scientific breakthroughs in Graphene materials from the laboratory to market, including products such as energy-efficient water filtration systems and energy storage systems that can enable dissemination of IoT technologies.