Graphene Helps Create Square Ice at Room Temperature

An international team of researchers from The University of Manchester, the University of Ulm in Germany and the University of Science and Technology of China have created a transparent nanoscale capillary to investigate the atomic structure of water trapped inside. Water is one of the most familiar and abundant substances on Earth. It exists in many forms, as liquid, vapour and as many as 15 crystal structures of ice, with the commonly found hexagonal ice being singlehandedly responsible for the fascinating variety of snowflakes. [Read More]

Quantum Dots from Coal Fine Tuned

The size of graphene quantum dots made from coal can now be finely tuned in a single step for optimal electronic and fluorescent properties. Quantum dots are semiconducting materials that are small enough to exhibit quantum mechanical properties that only appear at the nanoscale. The dots made from coal, introduced in 2013 by the Rice University lab of chemist James Tour, can be engineered for specific semiconducting properties in either of two single-step processes. [Read More]

Nanotube Graphene Spaser World’s First

The first ever spaser to be made completely of carbon has been modelled by researchers from Monash University. The technology could lead to mobile phones becoming so small, efficient, and flexible they could be printed on clothing. A spaser (an acronym for Surface Plasmon Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) is essentially a nanoscale laser or nanolaser. It emits a beam of light through the vibration of free electrons, instead of the space-consuming electromagnetic wave emission process of a traditional laser. [Read More]

Graphene Nano-Membrane 1000 times more breathable than Goretex

A stable, porous membrane thinner than a nanometre has been produced by researchers at ETH Zurich. That is 100,000 times thinner than a human hair. The new membrane opens the door to a new generation of waterproof clothing, and also to ultra-rapid filtration. Made of two layers of graphene, a two-dimensional film made of carbon atoms, on which is etched tiny pores of a precisely defined size, it is permeable to tiny molecules, but larger molecules or particles, can pass only slowly or not at all. [Read More]

New Nanotube Graphene Hybrid Material Easier to Handle

Reinforcing bars of carbon nanotubes make two-dimensional graphene much easier to handle, researchers at Rice University have found. The new hybrid, according to Rice chemist James Tour, could, when stacked in a few layers, make a cost-effective alternative for costly indium tin oxide (ITO). ITO is currently used in displays and solar cells. Tour set nanotubes into graphene in a way that is analogous to how steel rebar is used in concrete. [Read More]

Graphene Origami Boxes show Hydrogen Storage Promise

Graphene can be made to fold itself into a three-dimensional box, researchers at the University of Maryland have shown. The world’s thinnest material, graphene is just one atom thick. In response to an electric charge, the researchers triggered minuscule squares of graphene to fold into a box that serves as a hydrogen storage container. Hydrogen Storage Density Goals Hydrogen storage, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, is one of the key enabling technologies for the advancement of hydrogen and fuel cell power technologies, in transportation, stationary, and portable applications. [Read More]

One Atom Thick Metal Membranes Shown Possible

An international research team has shown for the first time that metal membranes one layer of atoms thick can be stable under ambient conditions. The technique could open the door for new types of 2D structures to be formed. These new 2D structures could have enhanced physical properties that hold potential in a range of applications. The enhanced magnetic properties of atomically thin 2D Fe could make them attractive for magnetic recording media. [Read More]

Three Dimensional Graphene created with Bubbles Blown in Sugar

Researchers from Japan’s World Premier International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics have developed a method of making 3D graphene using bubbles blown in a melt polymeric glucose. The ensuing 3D graphene has excellent conductivity. Other current attempts to make 3D graphene have produced weak conductivity because of poor contact between graphene sheets. Strength loss is also a problem, and this new method addresses this as well. Taking their cue from the ancient food art of ‘blown sugar’, Yoshio Bando and his team believed that the strutted, coherent character of conjoined bubbles would contribute well to strength and conductivity if graphene could be structured in the same way. [Read More]

3D Graphene Analog Discovered

Much faster transistors and far more compact hard drives may result from the discovery of what is basically a 3D version of graphene. Graphene is a 2D sheet, one atom thick, of carbon. Electrons are able to race through grapheme at many times the speed at which they move through silicon. The new material is a result of research from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The researchers there have discovered that sodium bismuthate can exist as a form of quantum matter called a three-dimensional topological Dirac semi-metal (3DTDS). [Read More]

Making Graphene Quantum Dots from Coal

A Rice University chemist has found simple methods to reduce three types of coal into graphene quantum dots. Graphene quantum dots are microscopic discs of atom-thick graphene oxide. Applications they could be used for include medical imaging sensing, electronic and photovoltaic technologies. Band gaps establish how semiconducting materials carry an electric current. In quantum dots, the band gaps are responsible for their fluorescence and can be tuned by changing the dots’ size. [Read More]