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Graphene and porphyrins join to create an exciting new material

Jan 08, 2017

Researchers at the Technical University of Munich have found that graphene can be combined with porphyrins, the molecules that convey oxygen in haemoglobin and absorb light during photosynthesis, to get a material with exciting new properties. The resulting hybrid structures could be used in the field of molecular electronics, solar cells and in developing new sensors.

Porphyrins and graphene join to make a new material image

The technique involves growing a graphene layer on a surface of silver to use its catalytic properties. Then, under ultra-high vacuum conditions, porphyrin molecules are added. These lose the hydrogen atoms from their periphery when heated on the metal surface, and they end up connecting to the graphene edges.

Polish team creates transparent cryogenic temperature sensor

Jan 08, 2017

Researchers from the Lodz University of Technology in Poland have designed a transparent, flexible cryogenic temperature sensor with graphene structures as sensing elements. Such sensors could be useful for any field that requires operating in low-temperatures, such as medical diagnostics, space exploration and aviation, processing and storage of food and scientific research.

Making graphene transparent cryogenic temperature sensors

The sensors were repeatedly cooled from room temperature to cryogenic temperature. Graphene structures were characterized using Raman spectroscopy. The observation of the resistance changes as a function of temperature indicates the potential use of graphene in the construction of temperature sensors. The temperature characteristics of the analyzed graphene sensors exhibit no clear anomalies or strong non-linearity in the entire studied temperature range (as compared to the typical carbon sensor).

MIT team uses graphene to create ultra-strong 3D materials

Jan 08, 2017

Researchers at MIT have designed a strong and lightweight material, by compressing and fusing flakes of graphene. The new material, a sponge-like configuration with a density of just 5%, can have a strength 10 times that of steel. This work could pose an interesting way of transforming graphene into useful 3D objects and items.MIT created superstrong graphene 3D material image

The team developed the product by using a combination of both heat and pressure, compressing and fusing the flakes of graphene together. This process produced a strong, stable structure whose form resembles that of some corals and microscopic creatures called diatoms. These shapes, which have an enormous surface area in proportion to their volume, proved to be remarkably strong.

Graphene-CNT junctions could be turned into excellent heat conductors

Jan 05, 2017

Researchers at Rice University have found that it may be possible to make graphene-carbon nanotube junctions excel at transferring heat, turning these into an attractive way to channel damaging heat away from next-generation nano-electronics. This could, in theory, be done by putting a cone-like “chimney” between the graphene and nanotube to eliminate the barrier that blocks heat from escaping.

Graphene-CNT junctions could be made to transfer heat image

Graphene and carbon nanotubes both excel at the rapid transfer of electricity and phonons, but when a nanotube grows from graphene, atoms facilitate the turn by forming heptagonal (seven-member) rings instead of the usual six-atom rings. Scientists have determined that forests of nanotubes grown from graphene are excellent for storing hydrogen for energy applications, but in electronics, the heptagons scatter phonons and hinder the escape of heat through the pillars.

EU's Gladiator project demonstrates a large 2 x 1 cm flexible OLED panel with graphene electrodes

Jan 04, 2017

The Fraunhofer Institute FEP and other partners at EU GLADIATOR project developed a functional flexible OLED lighting device based on graphene electrodes. This device is 2 x 1 cm in size - much larger the previous prototype developed as part of that project last year.

OLED device with graphene electrodes (Gladiator, Jan 2017)

The graphene electrodes were produced in a CVD-based process. The graphene was deposited on a copper film, covered with a flexible polymer carrier and then the copper was etched away.