“The formation of nanohybrids with gold and graphene provides the proof of concept that the inherent reducing character of these nanosheets can be availed to create diverse mixed-dimensional heterostructures in solution,” researchers observed in their study in journal Nanoscale, published by the Royal Society of Chemistry. “Our initial experiments indicate that the noble metal nanoparticle-nanosheet hybrids are excellent electrocatalysts for hydrogen evolution reaction.”
Dr Kabeer Jasuja, who led the research team, said “this is the first example of a nanosheet that is also a reducing agent and presents a new perspective on the chemistry of nanosheets. Our work suggests that we can now design a wide range of boron-based nanohybrids in a test tube. We have shown this capability by preparing a borophene-graphene like an interface in solution. The concurrence of reducing nature and planarity makes these nanosheets an intriguing alternative over conventional reducing agents.”
"In essence, we have tamed down the otherwise reactive reducing agent borohydride by nanosheets. This means that now we have access to a mild reducing agent for selective reduction of electron rich organic moieties. This research has the potential to open up new avenues in organic synthesis that will be crucial for pharmaceutical and polymer industries,” added Dr Arnab Dutta, a member of the research team.
The work was supported by seed funding from IIT Gandhinagar, INSPIRE Faculty Award Research Grant, and Core research Grant from the Department of Science and Technology. The team included Asha Liza James, Shikha Khandelwal, Dr Arnab Dutta and Dr Kabeer Jasuja.