Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The wonders of graphene on display

05.07.2011
Graphene, discovered in 2004 at The University of Manchester by Professor Andre Geim and Professor Kostya Novoselov, is one of the world's most versatile materials, and is already being used in such varied applications as touch screens, transistors and aircraft wings.

Researchers from the University are presenting the vast potential of the wonder material at the Royal Society's annual Summer Science Exhibition which opens today (5 July 2010).

The display aims to tell the remarkable story of the discovery of graphene, and how Professors Geim and Novoselov realised the full significance of their work – culminating in the award of the 2010 Nobel Prize for Physics.

The pair, who have worked together for more than a decade since Professor Novoselov was Professor Geim's PHD student, used to devote every Friday evening to 'out of the box' experiments not directly linked to their main research topics.

One Friday, they used Scotch tape to peel away layers of carbon from a piece of graphite, and were left with a single atom thick, two dimensional film of carbon – graphene.

Visitors will be given the chance to learn what a two dimensional material looks like using simple models, and to make graphene themselves.

In an interactive display called the Virtual Microscope visitors will be able to see real images of graphene, originally obtained in one of the world's most advanced Transmission Electron Microscopes (TEM), the Daresbury SuperSTEM.

The high magnifications that can be achieved in this instrument allow direct observation of the atomic lattice of graphene, in its perfect state, but also with defects and foreign atoms, unintentionally or deliberately introduced. The SuperSTEM images have been implemented in the Virtual Microscope in a way that allows zooming into areas of interest like in the real instrument.

The material, which resembles a "chicken wire" like structure and was previously thought to be unstable in its free form, is very strong, transparent and highly conductive.

Many of its properties are unique or far superior to those in other materials, which make it such an exciting new material to study.

Charge carriers in graphene appear to have no mass and can travel very large distances without being scattered. This makes it a good testing ground for interesting quantum effects and gives it many applications for fast electronics. It is extremely transparent and being such a good electrical conductor makes it an ideal transparent electrode in LCD displays and solar cells.

The researchers have also made gas sensors from graphene several times smaller than a hair's width and so sensitive they can detect when a single gas molecule is present on them.

It makes an extremely strong support membrane for observing biological molecules in a Transmission Electron Microscope and is so electron transparent even individual metal atoms can be seen on its surface, which visitors can experience for themselves in the virtual TEM. It is the strongest material found so far, which can be used to make ultra-strong, conductive composite materials.

The exhibit will also feature entertaining and educational iPad games, which can also be downloaded for iOS and Android devices from their respective app stores.

One of the exhibitors, Dr Ernie Hill, said: "This is a great opportunity for us to present some of our groundbreaking work to the general public in what we hope is an interesting and entertaining way.

"The story of how Andre and Kostya produced this remarkable material is inspirational for any youngster wishing to enter research as a career and indeed to anyone with an interest in scientific discovery."

The scientists will be on hand at the exhibition which runs from 5 July to 10 July, to talk visitors through the research.

Daniel Cochlin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.manchester.ac.uk

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Atomic structure of ultrasound material not what anyone expected
21.02.2018 | North Carolina State University

nachricht Hidden talents: Converting heat into electricity with pencil and paper
20.02.2018 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers invent tiny, light-powered wires to modulate brain's electrical signals

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

The “Holy Grail” of peptide chemistry: Making peptide active agents available orally

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Atomic structure of ultrasound material not what anyone expected

21.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>