Hybrid Nanosheets of an Inorganic-Organic Material: Facile Synthesis, Structure and Elastic Properties
J-C Tan, P J Saines, E G Bithell and A K Cheetham
ACS Nano 6, 615-621 (2012)

We report a new 2-D inorganic–organic framework material, MnDMS [Mn 2,2-dimethylsuccinate], featuring weakly bound hybrid layers in its bulk crystals that can be readily exfoliated into nanosheets via ultrasonication. The fully exfoliated hybrid nanosheets correspond to a unilamellar thickness of about 1 nm, while the partially exfoliated nanosheets (multilayer films) exhibit a typical thickness on the order of 10 nm. We used atomic force microscopy to characterize their surface topography and to map the variation of nanomechanical properties across the surface of the delaminated nanosheets. The morphology and crystallographic orientation of the exfoliated layers were further studied by transmission electron microscopy. Additionally, we investigated the elastic anisotropy underlying the bulk host material by means of single-crystal nanoindentation, from which the critical resolved shear stress (τcrit) needed for the micromechanical delamination of individual layers was determined to be relatively small (0.4 GPa).

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