Liquid-Phase Exfoliation

Liquid-phase exfoliation (LPE) is commonly used to synthesize 2D materials. The advantage of LPE is that it facilitates processing of individual nanosheets into free-standing films or into vertical or horizontal stacks. The Rice group has used LPE to synthesize several 2D materials (h-BN, MoS2, WS2, VS2, NbS2, TaS2) and worked closely with the USC team to validate computational synthesis software for LPE. The USC group has performed multimillion atom molecular dynamics simulations to study LPE of bulk MoS2.

Setup for the simulation of liquid phase exfoliation of MoS2 in a water-isopropanol mixture by ultrasonication

Cross-sectional view of the instantaneous pressure in the simulation cell during bubble collapse. The intense pressure front at the edge of the MoS2 block is responsible for exfoliation into individual monolayers


  1. Molecular simulation of MoS2 exfoliation, G. Zhou, R. Kalia, A. Nakano, P. Vashishta. In preparation

PIs involved in this research

  • Rajiv Kalia (USC)
  • Pulickel Ajayan (Rice)

Published on May 30th, 2017

Last updated on January 27th, 2020