Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A New Approach to Finding and Removing Defects in Graphene

07.06.2010
In a paper in Nature Chemistry, Vivek Shenoy and colleagues pinpointed noncarbon atoms that create defects when graphene is produced through a technique called graphene-oxide reduction. The researchers also propose how to make that technique more efficient by precisely applying hydrogen – rather than heat – to remove the impurities.

Graphene, a carbon sheet that is one-atom thick, may be at the center of the next revolution in material science. These ultrathin sheets hold great potential for a variety of applications from replacing silicon in solar cells to cooling computer chips.

Despite its vast promise, graphene and its derivatives “are materials people understand little about,” said Vivek Shenoy, professor of engineering at Brown University. “The more we can understand their properties, the more (technological) possibilities that will be opened to us.”

Shenoy and a team of U.S. researchers have gained new insights into these mysterious materials. The team, in a paper in Nature Chemistry, pinpoints the atomic configurations of noncarbon atoms that create defects when graphene is produced through a technique called graphene-oxide reduction. Building from that discovery, the researchers propose how to make that technique more efficient by outlining precisely how to apply hydrogen — rather than heat — to remove impurities in the sheets.

The sheets produced by graphene-oxide reduction are two-dimensional, honeycomb-looking planes of carbon. Most of the atoms in the lattice are carbon, which is what scientists want. But interwoven in the structure are also oxygen and hydrogen atoms, which disrupt the uniformity of the sheet. Apply enough heat to the lattice, and some of those oxygen atoms bond with hydrogen atoms, which can be removed as water. But some oxygen atoms are more stubborn.

Shenoy, joined by Brown graduate student Akbar Bagri and colleagues from Rutgers University and the University of Texas–Dallas, used molecular dynamic simulations to observe the atomic configuration of the graphene lattice and figure out why the remaining oxygen atoms remained in the structure. They found that the holdout oxygen atoms had formed double bonds with carbon atoms, a very stable arrangement that produces irregular holes in the lattice.

The oxygen atoms that form double bonds with carbon “have very low energy,” Shenoy said. “They’re unreactive. It’s hard to get them out.”

Now that they understand the configuration of the resistant oxygen atoms in the graphene, the researchers say adding hydrogen atoms in prescribed amounts and at defined locations is the best way to further reduce the graphene oxide. One promising technique, they write in the paper, is to introduce hydrogen where the oxygen atoms have bonded with the carbon atoms and formed the larger holes. The oxygen and hydrogen should pair up (as hydroxyls) and leave the lattice, in essence “healing the hole,” Shenoy said.

Another approach is to remove the oxygen impurities by focusing on the areas where carbonyls — carbon atoms that are double-bonded to oxygen atoms — have formed. By adding hydrogen, the researchers theorize, the oxygen atoms can be peeled away in the form of water.

The researchers next plan to experiment with the hydrogen treatment techniques as well as to investigate the properties of graphene oxide “in its own right,” Shenoy said.

The research was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Semiconductor Research Corporation’s Nanotechnology Research Initiative. Other authors on the paper include Cecilia Mattevi and Manish Chhowalla from Rutgers (both now at Imperial College in London), Muge Acik and Yves Chabal from the University of Texas–Dallas.

Richard Lewis | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.brown.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time
17.10.2017 | University of Maryland

nachricht Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging
17.10.2017 | American Association for the Advancement of Science

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

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...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

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...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Neutrons observe vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity useful for drug development

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters

17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>