Solvent exfoliation of electronic-grade, two-dimensional black phosphorus

Joohoon Kang, Joshua D. Wood, Spencer A. Wells, Jae Hyeok Lee, Xiaolong Liu, Kan Sheng Chen, Mark C. Hersam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

628 Scopus citations


Solution dispersions of two-dimensional (2D) black phosphorus (BP)-often referred to as phosphorene-are achieved by solvent exfoliation. These pristine, electronic-grade BP dispersions are produced with anhydrous organic solvents in a sealed-tip ultrasonication system, which circumvents BP degradation that would otherwise occur via solvated O2 or H2O. Among conventional solvents, N-methylpyrrolidone (NMP) is found to provide stable, highly concentrated (∼0.4 mg/mL) BP dispersions. Atomic force microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy show that the structure and chemistry of solvent-exfoliated BP nanosheets are comparable to mechanically exfoliated BP flakes. Additionally, residual NMP from the liquid-phase processing suppresses the rate of BP oxidation in ambient conditions. Solvent-exfoliated BP nanosheet field-effect transistors exhibit ambipolar behavior with current on/off ratios and mobilities up to ∼104 and ∼50 cm2 V-1 s-1, respectively. Overall, this study shows that stable, highly concentrated, electronic-grade 2D BP dispersions can be realized by scalable solvent exfoliation, thereby presenting opportunities for large-area, high-performance BP device applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3596-3604
Number of pages9
JournalACS nano
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 28 2015


  • anhydrous
  • centrifugation
  • degradation
  • field-effect transistor
  • liquid phase
  • organic solvent
  • phosphorene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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