Following the isolation of graphene in 2004, a race began to synthesize new two-dimensional materials. These are single-layer substances with a thickness of between one atom and a few nanometers (billionths of a meter). They have unique properties linked to their reduced dimensionality and play a key role in the development of nanotechnology and nanoengineering.
An international group of researchers, including Brazilian scientists affiliated with the University of Campinas (UNICAMP), have succeeded in producing a new material with these characteristics.
The researchers extracted a 2-D material theycallhematene from ordinary iron ore. The material is only three atoms thick and is thought to have enhanced photocatalytic properties. This innovation is described in an article published in Nature Nanotechnology.