The motion of atoms, molecules and clusters across the surfaces of materials is of critical importance to an endless list of phenomena.ion across surfaces generally involves motion on a vibrating but otherwise stationary substrate. H Diffusion across surfaces generally involves motion on a vibrating but otherwise stationary substrate. Using molecular dynamics, scientist at UCL have discovered a new mechanism for surface diffusion on layered 2D materials such as graphene. The ripples on graphene can carry nanodroplets along when moving across the surface. For water nanodroplets, this mechanism allows exceedingly fast diffusion 2–3 orders of magnitude faster than the self-diffusion of water molecules in liquid water. The new mechanism for surface diffusion can open up the prospect of achieving fast and controllable motion of adsorbates across material surfaces generally.
This study has been published in Nature Materials
Journal link:Nature Materials 15, 66 (2016)