This was achieved by attaching a layer of graphene on diamond and heated to high temperatures. Water molecules trapped between them become highly corrosive, as opposed to normal water.
This novel discovery, reported for the first time, has wide-ranging industrial applications, from environmentally-friendly degradation of organic wastes to laser-assisted etching of semiconductor or dielectric films.The findings were published online in Nature Communications on 5 March 2013 with Ms Candy Lim Yi Xuan, a Ph.D. candidate at the NUS Graduate School for Integrative Sciences and Engineering as the first author.
A team of scientists from NUS, Bruker Singapore and Hasselt University Wetenschapspark in Belgium, sought to explore what happens when a layer of graphene, behaving like a soft membrane, is attached on diamond, which is also composed of carbon. To encourage bonding between the two rather dissimilar carbon forms, the researchers heated them to high temperatures.
At elevated temperatures, the team noted a restructuring of the interface and chemical bonding between graphene and diamond. As graphene is an impermeable material, water trapped between the diamond and graphene cannot escape. At a temperature that is above 400 degree Celsius, the trapped water transforms into a distinct supercritical phase, with different behaviours compared to normal water.
Said Professor Loh, who is also a Principal Investigator with the Graphene Research Centre at NUS, “We show for the first time that graphene can trap water on diamond, and the system behaves like a ‘pressure cooker’ when heated. Even more surprising, we found that such superheated water can corrode diamond. This has never been reported.”
Industrial Applications and New Insights
Due to its transparent nature, the graphene bubble-on-diamond platform provides a novel way of studying the behaviours of liquids at high pressures and high temperature conditions, which is traditionally difficult.
“The applications from our experiment are immense. In the industry, supercritical water can be used for the degradation of organic waste in an environmentally friendly manner. Our work can is also applicable to the laser-assisted etching of semiconductor or dielectric films, where the graphene membrane can be used to trap liquids,” Prof Loh elaborated.
To further their research, Prof Loh and his team will study the supercritical behaviours of other fluids at high temperatures, and strive to derive a wider range of industrial applications.
Carolyn FONG | Newswise
Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen
24.03.2017 | Carnegie Institution for Science
Researchers make flexible glass for tiny medical devices
24.03.2017 | Brigham Young University
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy