Predictions of physicists of the University of Luxembourg recently lead to the discovery of a material with special electric properties which engages the interest of plastics producing industry. Three years ago, physicists from Luxembourg had theoretically predicted the unusual characteristics of a particular composite material.
These calculations could now be confirmed by experiment in cooperation with the “Centre de Recherche Paul Pascal” in Bordeaux, France, and resulted in the discovery of a so-called high-k-material, which might enable the production of better energy storage devices – the basis for smaller, faster and more efficient electronics.
The earlier calculations made by the team around Tanja Schilling, professor of physics at the University of Luxembourg, were at first rather bad news for the field of materials research: they indicated that certain compound materials made of polymers and flaky graphene, unlike those made of polymers and carbon nanotubes, did not increase the conductivity of the material to the degree that was generally expected until then. It was a surprising conclusion at the time which questioned the use of graphene in order to increase conductivity.
This prediction, however, now lead to a highly promising discovery: the effect that put the conductivity of the plastics-graphene-compound into question, causes it to have remarkable dielectric properties. This means that one can generate a strong electric field inside of it – the fundamental property for the production of efficient capacitors.
These are tiny components that can store energy statically and occur in almost all electronic devices, where they act as voltage regulators or information storage, among other things. Computers, for example, contain billions of those.
“Materials with a high dielectric constant, so-called high-k-materials, are highly sought after,” says Tanja Schilling, head of the research project at the Faculty of Science, Technology and Communication of the University of Luxembourg. “The discovery based on our predictions was now published in the renowned journal Nature Communications – which we are very happy about.”
The special dielectric properties of the compound material occur as a result of its liquid crystal properties impeding the arrangement of the graphene flakes into a conducting structure. So when there is an electric current, it does not flow directly through the compound, but instead generates a strong electric field.
While in other compound materials the current permeable effect is the dominant one, the Luxembourg physicists could demonstrate mathematically that, in this case, the liquid crystal properties play the major role and are responsible for the unexpected electric properties.
The chemicals company Solvay, partner of the research project, now wants to continue the research around this new high-k-material, aiming to produce synthetics for particularly efficient capacitors and further applications in the future.
Notes to the editor:
The article “Graphene Liquid Crystal Retarded Percolation for New High-k Materials” is published in the scientific journal “Nature Communications” (DOI: 10.1038/ncomms9700).
http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/151116/ncomms9700/full/ncomms9700.html?WT.ec_i... - Link to the scientific publication
http://www.uni.lu - homepage of the University of Luxembourg
Britta Schlüter | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Move over, Superman! NIST method sees through concrete to detect early-stage corrosion
27.04.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Control of molecular motion by metal-plated 3-D printed plastic pieces
27.04.2017 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
28.04.2017 | Event News
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering
28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences
28.04.2017 | Life Sciences