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!
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