Introduction

In this paper the structure and composition of layered materials (excluding those which contain phosphates) and their modified variants are described. Layered materials are made up of sheets or planes of atoms held together by interplanar forces which are weaker than intraplanar binding forces. This structural set-up allows the insertion of atomic or molecular guest species between the layers. Such insertion (or intercalation) provides a means for controlled variation of the physical and chemical properties of the host son JA (eds) Intercalation Chemistry, Chapter 5, pp. 147-180. New York: Academic Press.

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layered material over wide ranges to yield new variants of novel layered materials. The intercalated layered materials are also described.

Layered materials may be broadly classified into three groups according to the composition of their layers and the forces that hold the layers together. The interlayer forces determine the inherent ability of he layers to resist distortions involving displacements transverse to the layer planes.

1. Type I layered materials are made up of layers of atomically thin sheets. The neutral layers are held together by van der Waals forces. Examples are graphite and boron nitride. In graphite the layers tend to be 'floppy' and are easily separated with respect to distortions transverse to the layer

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