Main Article Content
The development of nanotechnology has encouraged the research of new nanomaterials for innovative applications. In 2004, the production and study of graphene — that is a single layer of carbon atoms — showed, for the first time, the extraordinary properties of this material and opened the way to the exploration of the so-called two-dimensional (2D) materials. Since then, several 2D materials have been produced and studied, revealing properties and behaviours, in general, very different from those of corresponding bulk materials. Research on 2D materials is nowadays one of the most active and promising fields of materials science, which is setting the basis for the development of novel technologies, such as in electronics, optoelectronics, energy and molecular sensing. In this paper, some important aspects of the study of 2D materials will be introduced — such as the synthesis methodologies and characterization techniques — and some of their properties will be shown, with the support of recent experimental results of scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) investigations.