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
Spin current detection in quantum materials unlocks potential for alternative electronics
16.10.2017 | DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Missing atoms in a forgotten crystal bring luminescence
11.10.2017 | King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST)
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
It's possible to produce hydrogen to power fuel cells by extracting the gas from seawater, but the electricity required to do it makes the process costly. UCF...
Mercury, our smallest planetary neighbor, has very little to call an atmosphere, but it does have a strange weather pattern: morning micro-meteor showers.
Recent modeling along with previously published results from NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft -- short for Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and...
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
28.09.2017 | Event News
16.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
16.10.2017 | Earth Sciences
16.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy