Synthesis of low-dimensional materials have generated curiosity among researchers working not only in fundamental materials research and but also their applications, due to their exotic properties and immense potential. Especially,2D materials with ultrathin surface morphologies have unwrapped new frontiers with their excellent electronic, mechanical, and optical properties. The research focus on 2D materials was actually stimulated with breakthrough of isolation of graphene in 2004 by Geim and Novoselov. Graphene is a two dimensional honey comb lattice with one atom thick sp2 layer of carbon atoms. It is considered as a wonder material with exceptional characteristics such as high surface area (2630 m2/g), excellent thermal conductivity (3000 - 5000 W/mK) and electrical conductivity (zero overlap semi metal), nearly transparent (light absorption rate of only ~2%), high mechanical and most impenetrable material (two hundred times stronger than steel).
Recently there has been much emphasis to develop several sophisticated technologies using graphene based hybrid nanostructures especially for energy storage. However, many challenges such as particle aggregation, reduced surface area, restricted ionic and electronic conductivities, reduced rate capability etc. were mitigated to fabricate such delicate hybrid nanostructured materials using traditional synthetic chemical routes. In this regard, we have come up with biomimetic approach to overcome these barriers. The details of the developed nanostructured material architectures are as follows:
A biomimetic crumpled nano leaf like structure have been engineered using graphene based nanostructures with efficient ion transport pathways that enable high-performance for supercapacitor application. The synthesized crumpled and leaf like nanostructures assisted in diffusion and transportation of ions to active sites of the electrode material during the cycling process. The graphene based nano leaf structures were employed as an supercapacitor electrode material for hybrid energy storage device. Further the device isintegrated with a renewable energy source that offered access to perpetual power. [Carbon 158, 527–535 (2020)]
Graphene oxide (GO) inherently contains oxygen functionalities which intensely affect the electronic structure of graphene rendering useful electrical, mechanical, and electrochemical properties along with ease of processability. We have also reported the design of biomimetic fibrillar interfaces by means of graphene based nano frameworks. Graphene oxide core shells were synthesized usingsurface modification of silica template by chemical functionalization. Surface enhanced 3D-spherical dendritic cell like structures of Layered double hydroxide (LDH)based hybrid materials were synthesized using reduced graphene oxide nano framework which acts as an interconnected core. These synthesized hybrid nanostructures are unique due to their unprecedented properties that are unparalleled when compared to their pristine andbulkycounterparts. The designed material architecture is optimal for many emerging applications such as energy storage, catalysis, drug delivery and so on. [ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 11, 20232–20240 (2019)]
A Ni-Co LDH hybrid material was synthesized using the graphene based core architecture with a dendritic cell morphology. The developed material was used for hybrid energy storage application. The hybrid material has outperformed its pristine and bulky counterpart with 3 timeshigher specific capacity (~1056 Cg-1). [Nature. Microsystems Nanoeng. 5, 65 (2019)]. Further considerable efforts are undertaken to elucidate the charge transfer mechanism at nanoscale to achieve efficient charge storage using other 2D materials and their hybrids with graphene based nanostructures.