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Superhydrophobic templates towards controlled 2D crystals macrostructures

Superhydrophobic templates towards controlled 2D crystals macrostructures

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Since the first discovery of Single Layer Graphene (SLG) crystals, interest in bi-dimensional materials have risen due to both the peculiar physical properties at room temperature of crystals with reduced dimensionality and for their possible technological applications. While on one side, a great effort is invested to obtain 2D single crystals with low presence of defects on macroscopic areas to exploit their peculiar transport properties for the electronic industry, on the other, 2D single layer microcrystals are already available as technologically appealing liquid solutions, as fillers for nanocomposite and/or as thin films deposition on flat substrates, by means of simple liquid processing of the solution, usually resulting in randomly packed layers of crystals with random orientations and poorly defined stacking order, thus loosing many of the intriguing physical properties of single-crystal monolayers and multilayers.

In this framework, Cassie Baxter type microstructured superhydrophobic surface can play a fundamental toward crystalline oriented single layer and packed multilayer polycrystalline surface by controlling both the orientation at the liquid/substrate interface of the dispersed microcrystals inside each liquid droplet and their stacking, by simply tuning surface properties and evaporation kinetics. Additionally, more structured surf​aces can be developed to align the sample with surface nano-features ad perform additional studies such ad plasmon resonance and electron microscopy at the same time.