Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Polymer-graphene nanocarpets to electrify smart fabrics

18.04.2018

Researchers from Tomsk Polytechnic University together with their international colleagues have discovered a method to modify and use the one-atom thin conductor of current and heat, graphene without destroying it. Thanks to the novel method, the researchers were able to synthesize on single-layer graphene a well-structured polymer with a strong covalent bond, which they called 'polymer carpets'. The entire structure is highly stable; it is less prone to degradation over time that makes the study promising for the development of flexible organic electronics. Also, if a layer of molybdenum disulfide is added over the 'nanocarpet', the resulting structure generates current under exposure to light. The study results were published in Journal of Materials Chemistry C.

Graphene is simultaneously the most durable, light and an electrically conductive carbon material. It can be used for manufacturing solar batteries, smartphone screens, thin and flexible electronics, and even in water filters since graphene films pass water molecules and stop all other compounds.


This is the scheme for obtaining a hybrid structure of 'graphene-polymer'.

Credit: Tomsk Polytechnic University

Graphene should be integrated into complex structures to be used successfully. However, it is a challenge to do that. According to scientists, graphene itself is stable enough and reacts poorly with other compounds. In order to make it react with other elements, i.e. to modify it, graphene is usually at least partially destroyed. This modification degrades the properties of the materials obtained.

Professor Raul D. Rodriguez from the Research School for Chemistry & Applied Biomedical Sciences says: 'When functionalizing graphene, you should be very careful. If you overdo it, the unique properties of graphene are lost. Therefore, we decided to follow a different path.

In graphene, there are inevitable nanodefects, for example, at the edges of graphene and wrinkles in the plane. Hydrogen atoms are often attached to such defects. It is this hydrogen that can interact with other chemicals.'

To modify graphene, the authors use a thin metal substrate on which a graphene single-layer is placed. Then graphene is covered with a solution of bromine-polystyrene molecules. The molecules interact with hydrogen and are attached to the existing defects, resulting in polyhexylthiophene (P3HT). Further exposed to light during the photocatalysis, a polymer begins to 'grow'.

'In the result, we obtained the samples which structure resembles 'polymer carpets' as we call them in the paper. Above such a 'polymer carpet' we place molybdenum disulfide. Due to a unique combination of materials, we obtain a 'sandwich' structure' that functions like a solar battery. That is, it generates current when exposed to light. In our experiments a strong covalent bond is established between the molecules of the polymer and graphene, that is critical for the stability of the material obtained,' notes Rodriguez.

According to the researcher, the method for graphene modification, on the one hand, enables obtaining a very sturdy compound; on the other hand, it is rather simple and cheap as affordable materials are used. The method is versatile because it makes growing very different polymers directly on graphene possible.

'The strength of the obtained hybrid material is achieved additionally because we do not destroy graphene itself but use pre-existing defects, and a strong covalent bond to polymer molecules. This allows us to consider the study as promising for the development of thin and flexible electronics when solar batteries can be attached to clothes, and when deformed they will not break,' the professor explains.

Media Contact

Raul D. Rodriguez
raulmet@gmail.com
7-923-432-2327

 @TPUnews_en

http://www.tpu.ru/en 

Raul D. Rodriguez | EurekAlert!

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Necessity is the mother of invention: Fraunhofer WKI tests utilization of low-value hardwood for wood fiberboard
13.11.2019 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Holzforschung - Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut (WKI)

nachricht New Pitt research finds carbon nanotubes show a love/hate relationship with water
13.11.2019 | University of Pittsburgh

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Magnets for the second dimension

If you've ever tried to put several really strong, small cube magnets right next to each other on a magnetic board, you'll know that you just can't do it. What happens is that the magnets always arrange themselves in a column sticking out vertically from the magnetic board. Moreover, it's almost impossible to join several rows of these magnets together to form a flat surface. That's because magnets are dipolar. Equal poles repel each other, with the north pole of one magnet always attaching itself to the south pole of another and vice versa. This explains why they form a column with all the magnets aligned the same way.

Now, scientists at ETH Zurich have managed to create magnetic building blocks in the shape of cubes that - for the first time ever - can be joined together to...

Im Focus: A new quantum data classification protocol brings us nearer to a future 'quantum internet'

The algorithm represents a first step in the automated learning of quantum information networks

Quantum-based communication and computation technologies promise unprecedented applications, such as unconditionally secure communications, ultra-precise...

Im Focus: Distorted Atoms

In two experiments performed at the free-electron laser FLASH in Hamburg a cooperation led by physicists from the Heidelberg Max Planck Institute for Nuclear physics (MPIK) demonstrated strongly-driven nonlinear interaction of ultrashort extreme-ultraviolet (XUV) laser pulses with atoms and ions. The powerful excitation of an electron pair in helium was found to compete with the ultrafast decay, which temporarily may even lead to population inversion. Resonant transitions in doubly charged neon ions were shifted in energy, and observed by XUV-XUV pump-probe transient absorption spectroscopy.

An international team led by physicists from the MPIK reports on new results for efficient two-electron excitations in helium driven by strong and ultrashort...

Im Focus: A Memory Effect at Single-Atom Level

An international research group has observed new quantum properties on an artificial giant atom and has now published its results in the high-ranking journal Nature Physics. The quantum system under investigation apparently has a memory - a new finding that could be used to build a quantum computer.

The research group, consisting of German, Swedish and Indian scientists, has investigated an artificial quantum system and found new properties.

Im Focus: Shedding new light on the charging of lithium-ion batteries

Exposing cathodes to light decreases charge time by a factor of two in lithium-ion batteries.

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory have reported a new mechanism to speed up the charging of lithium-ion...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

High entropy alloys for hot turbines and tireless metal-forming presses

05.11.2019 | Event News

Smart lasers open up new applications and are the “tool of choice” in digitalization

30.10.2019 | Event News

International Symposium on Functional Materials for Electrolysis, Fuel Cells and Metal-Air Batteries

02.10.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnets for the second dimension

12.11.2019 | Machine Engineering

New efficiency world record for organic solar modules

12.11.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Non-volatile control of magnetic anisotropy through change of electric polarization

12.11.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>