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First-ever high-resolution images of a molecule as it breaks and reforms chemical bonds

2013-06-01    Read More

When Felix Fischer of the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) set out to develop nanostructures made of graphene using a new, controlled approach to chemical reactions, the first result was a surprise: spectacular images of individual carbon atoms and the bonds between them.

 

"We weren't thinking about making beautiful images; the reactions themselves were the goal," says Fischer, a staff scientist in Berkeley Lab's  Division (MSD) and a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. "But to really see what was happening at the single-atom level we had to use a uniquely sensitive  in Michael Crommie's laboratory." Crommie is an MSD scientist and a professor of physics at UC Berkeley.

What the microscope showed the researchers, says Fischer, "was amazing." The specific outcomes of the reaction were themselves unexpected, but the visual evidence was even more so. "Nobody has ever taken direct, single-bond-resolved images of individual molecules, right before and immediately after a complex organic reaction," Fischer says.

The researchers report their results in the June 7, 2013 edition of the journal Science, available in advance on Science Express.

Korea to allocate $40 million towards local graphene commercialization in the next six years

2013-05-28    Read More

South Korea is planning to spend around 47 billion won ($40 million) in the next six years on graphene technologies. The Korean government (or specifically the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, MOTIE) wants to help local companies to commercialize graphene, and more than half of the investments will be given to small businesses.

Graphene foam as transparent conductive electrode for blue LEDs

2013-05-22    Read More

Researchers in Korea have used three-dimensional (3D) graphene foam as a transparent conductor for the p-contact of blue nitride semiconductor light-emitting diodes (LEDs) [Byung-Jae Kim et al, Appl. Phys. Lett., vol102, p161902, 2013]. The team consisted of engineers from Korea University, Sunchon National University, and Hongik University.

The effect of using graphene foam was to reduce the forward voltage by 26% and to increase light output by 14%. Both factors suggest improved power efficiency. Ordinary 2D graphene has previously been tried as transparent conductive electrodes in nitride LEDs with mixed success. However, up to now, graphene foam has not previously been applied to light emitting or absorbing devices (e.g. solar cells).

Many researchers are exploring graphene as an alternative to indium tin oxide (ITO), which increases in price with indium supply shortages. Also, the transmission of light cuts off in ITO in the ultraviolet range.

Commercial 3D graphene foam was used, produced on 3D copper foam using chemical vapor deposition (CVD). The material was spin-coated with poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and the copper etched away in ammonium sulfate ((NH4)2S2O8) solution (Figure 1). The graphene foam was cut into a square and transferred to the p-type gallium nitride (p-GaN) layer of a commercial blue LED nitride epitaxial material on sapphire substrate. The assembly of graphene foam on nitride semiconductor structure was fabricated into LED devices with plasma-etched mesas, titanium/aluminium/nickel/gold contacts with the n-GaN layer, and titanium/gold n- and p-contact pads.

Figure 1: Fabrication of blue LEDs with 3D graphene foam-based transparent conductive electrodes: (a) 3D graphene foam grown on 3D Cu foam; (b) spin-coating with PMMA; (c) wet etch of copper; (d) transfer of 3D graphene foam coated to p-GaN layer blue LED material and removal of PMMA; (e) and (f) blue LED devices fabricated with standard processes.

Europe focuses on graphene composites

2013-05-20    Read More

 

Graphene’s potential as a polymer reinforcement is immense. According to the NanoMaster consortium, addition of 5% graphene doubles the mechanical properties of TPO and PP, and a tensile modulus increase of 80% was seen when compounding 1% (by weight) of graphene with PMMA. Graphene reinforced thermoplastic compounds and masterbatches will fit into the existing manufacturing chain, adding new properties to high volume components produced through injection moulding, extrusion blow moulding and blown film extrusion.

The aim of the NanoMaster project is to reduce the amount of plastic used to make a component by 50% and therefore reduce component weight by 50%, while also making use of the electrical and thermal conductive properties of graphene.

Magnetic graphene may lead to graphene based Spintronic devices

2013-05-12    Read More

Source: PhysOrg

Researchers from IMDEA-Nanociencia Institute and from Autonoma and Complutense Universities of Madrid (Spain) have managed to give graphene magnetic properties. The breakthrough, published in the journal Nature Physics, opens the door to the development of graphene-based spintronic devices, that is, devices based on the spin or rotation of the electron, and could transform the electronics industry.

 

Scientists were already aware that graphene, an incredible material formed of a mesh of hexagonal , has extraordinary conductivity, mechanical and . Now it is possible to give it yet one more property: magnetism, implying a breakthrough in electronics.

This is revealed in the study that the Madrid Institute for Advanced Studies in Nanoscience (IMDEA-Nanociencia) and Autonoma Autonomous (UAM) and Complutense (UCM) universities of Madrid have just published in the Nature Physicsjournal. Researchers have managed to create a hybrid surface from this material that behaves as a magnet.

"In spite of the huge efforts to date of scientists all over the world, it has not been possible to add the required to develop graphene-based spintronics. However these results pave the way to this possibility," highlights Prof. Rodolfo Miranda, Director of IMDEA-Nanociencia.

New magnetic graphene may revolutionise electronics

ATCNQ molecule on the graphene mesh which in turn has been grown on a ruthenium crystal. Credit: IMDEA-Nanoscience

 

Graphene joins the race to redefine the ampere

2013-05-12    Read More

A new joint innovation by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and the University of Cambridge could pave the way for redefining the ampere in terms of fundamental constants of physics. The world's first graphene single-electron pump (SEP), described in a paper today in Nature Nanotechnology, provides the speed of electron flow needed to create a new standard for electrical current based on electron charge.

 

The (SI) comprises seven base units (the metre, kilogram, second, , ampere, mole and candela). Ideally these should be stable over time and universally reproducible. This requires definitions based on fundamental constants of nature which are the same wherever you measure them.

The present definition of the Ampere, however, is vulnerable to drift and instability. This is not sufficient to meet the accuracy needs of present and certainly future electrical measurement. The highest global measurement authority, the Conférence Générale des Poids et Mesures, has proposed that the ampere be re-defined in terms of the electron charge.

European Project NanoMaster Develops Expanded Graphite for Direct Graphene Production

2012-12-20    Read More

 

Graphene-based composites manufactured on a lab scale have been shown to exhibit impressive properties over unreinforced polymers. A small percentage of graphene within a polymer matrix can significantly improve its strength and stiffness, however the material remains prohibitively expensive for large-scale use as a composite reinforcement Therefore, the concept for this project is to develop the knowledge-based processing methods required to up-scale the production of graphene and expanded graphite reinforced thermoplastic masterbatches and compounds and, ultimately, enable its industrial commercialisation in Europe. The work will focus on developing processes for large scale rapid production of graphene reinforced plastic intermediate materials which can be integrated into current conventional and additive manufacturing processes.

The project is led by NetComposites, UK, and involves 12 other project partners: Philips Consumer Lifestyle, Holland, Timcal, Switzerland, Röchling Automotive, Italy, Asociación de Investigación de Materiales Plásticos y Conexas, Spain, Aero Engine Controls, UK, Teknologisk Institut, Denmark, Promolding, Holland, Avanzare Innovacion Tecnologica, Spain, Master Build Prototype, France, The Institute of Occupational Medicine, UK, Create It Real Aps, Denmark, and LATI Industria Termoplastici, Italy.

BASF and Max Planck Institute open graphene R&D centre

2012-09-27    Read More

BASF and the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) have opened an R&D centre at BASF’s Ludwigshafen site in Germany at which the groups will jointly research carbon-based materials for use in energy storage systems and electronic applications.

The Carbon Materials Innovation Center will receive €10m investment to research applications for carbon-based materials like grapheme. The cooperation is initially scheduled to run for three years.

“There is a wide range of ideas for applications, including displays or batteries with a vast market potential for these applications,” said Andreas Kreimeyer, member of the board of executive directors at BASF.

MPI-P and BASF have been jointly researching the carbon material graphene since 2008. But this is the first research platform to be operated by BASF jointly with a scientific partner on a BASF site.

" Graphene nanoplatelets: Coming to a store near you" [from Nature ]

2011-09-23    Read More

Nature magazine recently hosted top graphene innovators for a conference titled Graphene: The Road to Applications in Cambridge, MA. The goal of the conference was to temporarily leave aside academic discussions on graphene’s electrical properties and explore real-world prospects for graphene-enabled products, and. One significant conclusion reached was that graphene nanoplatelets have consistently shown progress in performance (electrical, mechanical, thermal), functionality, and scalability. The top platelet developers were all in attendance: Angstron Materials*, Vorbeck Materials*, and XG Sciences*; and all outlined future plans during the conference’s panels and speeches.

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