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Advanced Functional Materials 2020, 30(21), 1910186

Siloxene, Germanane, and Methylgermanane: Functionalized 2D Materials of Group 14 for Electrochemical Applications

2D monoelemental group 14 materials beyond graphene, such as silicene and germanene, have recently gained a lot of attention. Covalent functionalization of group 14 layered materials can lead to significant tuning of their properties. While optical and electronic properties of germanene, silicene, and their derivatives have been studied in detail previously, there is no information on their electrochemistry and toxicity. Herein, electrochemical applications of 2D siloxene, germanane, and methylgermanane, specifically for detection of an important biomarker, dopamine, as well as catalyzation of oxygen reduction and hydrogen evolution reactions, which are important in energy applications, are explored. Among the three materials, germanane portrays most superior properties for the electrochemical applications mentioned. All three materials possess fast heterogeneous electron transfer rates, relative to bare glassy carbon electrodes. In addition, toxicity studies of these materials are conducted to gain insights on their possible harmful effects toward human health. The results of this study show siloxene nontoxic while germanane and methylgermanane impose dose‐dependent toxicity. Interestingly, methylation successfully reduce the toxicity of methylgermanane at lower concentrations. These studies provide fundamental insights into electrochemical and toxic properties of functionalized group 14 layered materials for future electrochemical applications.

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