Graphene has attracted a great deal of attention because of its unique electronic properties that were praised by the Nobel Prize in 2010. Graphene holds promise to become a material of choice for the next generation of photovoltaic cells, field-effect devices (FED), flexible electronics, advanced composite materials, biosensors and advanced membranes. Raman spectroscopy is an easy and non-destructive method that played a critical role in characterization of graphene materials.
A Symposium “Carbon Nanotubes and Graphene” will be organized at EUROMAT2011 in Montpellier (France), 12-15 September 2011. The symposium will especially focus on progress and hot topics related to large scale production/processing, applications and industrial issues. This specifically includes:
- Synthesis and selection methods
- Electronic, optical and mechanical properties of carbon nanotubes, graphene and related devices
- Functionnalization, dispersion, processing
- Metrology and standardization
- Composites and materials science
- Other applications and industrial issues
Two University of Manchester scientists were awarded the 2010 Nobel Prize in physics for their pioneering research on graphene, a one-atom-thick film of carbon whose strength, flexibility and electrical conductivity have opened up new horizons for pure physics research as well as high-tech applications.
Andre Geim and his colleague (and former postdoctoral assistant) Konstantin Novoselov first produced graphene in 2004 by repeatedly peeling away graphite strips with adhesive tape to isolate a single atomic plane. They analyzed its strength, transparency, and conductive properties in a paper for Science the same year.
It’s a worthy Nobel, for the simple reason that graphene may be one of the most promising and versatile materials ever discovered. It could hold the key to everything from super small computers to high-capacity batteries. Graphene properties are attractive to materials scientists and electrical engineers for a whole host of reasons, not least of which is the fact that it might be possible to build circuits that are smaller and faster than what you can build in silicon.
The conference “Graphene Brazil 2010” will take place December 14-17 2010 in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil. The aim of this conference is to bring leading scientists in the area of graphene science together to evaluate past and define future trends of this exciting field. The conference will address progress at the frontiers of fundamental as well as applied research and will allow participants to exchange ideas and results of their latest work in an informal atmosphere.
Scientists have made a breakthrough toward creating nanocircuitry on graphene, widely regarded as the most promising candidate to replace silicon as the building block of transistors. They have devised a simple and quick one-step process based on thermochemical nanolithography (TCNL) for creating nanowires, tuning the electronic properties of reduced graphene oxide on the nanoscale and thereby allowing it to switch from being an insulating material to a conducting material.
The technique works with multiple forms of graphene and is poised to become an important finding for the development of graphene electronics. The research is published in the Science journal. Scientists who work with nanocircuits are enthusiastic about graphene because electrons meet with less resistance when they travel along graphene compared to silicon and because today’s silicon transistors are nearly as small as allowed by the laws of physics. Graphene also has the edge due to its thickness – it’s a carbon sheet that is a single atom thick. While graphene nanoelectronics could be faster and consume less power than silicon, no one knew how to produce graphene nanostructures on such a reproducible or scalable method. That is until now.
The recent emergence of graphene has generated a world-wide – and highly competitive – scientific enthusiasm, due to the extraordinary properties which are expected from graphene-based nano-objects and their derivatives. Its structural and chemical simplicity makes graphene a very convenient systems for fundamental research and for the development of nano-scale sciences. On the other hand, the numerous variations of the graphene based nano-objects allow a unique variability of properties (transport, mechanical, optical, chemical…) and an unusually high number of potential applications, spanning energy, nanoelectronics, or chemical industry. Graphene is also ideal for chemists who can modify its properties by functionalisation, grafting, adsorption and doping. Investigating graphene clearly requires the involvement of scientists in areas related to physics, chemistry, and materials sciences.
This growing interest, triggered by the numerous potential applications of graphene in future nanotechnology, motivates the creation of an interdisciplinary school on graphene. The school is aimed at PhD students, post-doctoral and young researchers in the first instance. The School is taking place in Cargèse, France from October 12 to October 22, 2010 at the Institut d’Etudes Scientifiques de Cargèse.
In a groundbreaking series of experiments, scientists in the United States managed to develop a new method of analyzing how graphene sheets are stacked on top of each other. The technique is also suitable for determining which areas of the compound are subjected to most strain, when the material is placed inside more complex structures. All of this can be inferred using moire patterns, which are interference patterns that appear at an atomic scale, when two layers of atoms are placed on top of each other imperfectly, as in slightly askew (image courtesy of NIST).
The research team that conducted the new investigation features physicists from the US National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). The experts say that the moire patterns can also be used on multiple grids or atom arrays, not only on two. They add that using “atomic moire interferometry” can also help scientists determine the rotational orientation of the graphene sheets used in a variety of technological applications. Their work is published in the Physical Review B journal.
Rice University researchers have found a way to stitch graphene and hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) into a two-dimensional quilt that offers new paths of exploration for materials scientists. The technique has implications for application of graphene materials in microelectronics that scale well below the limitations of silicon determined by Moore’s Law. New research demonstrates a way to achieve fine control in the creation of such hybrid, 2-D structures.
Layers of h-BN a single atom thick have the same lattice structure as graphene, but electrically the materials are at opposite ends of the spectrum: h-BN is an insulator, whereas graphene, the single-atom-layer form of carbon, is highly conductive. The ability to assemble them into a single lattice could lead to a rich variety of 2-D structures with electric properties ranging from metallic conductor to semiconductor to insulator.