Graphene can automatically heal holes in itself

Konstantin Novoselov from the University of Manchester discovered that if you make a hold in a graphene sheet it automatically "heals" itself back together. This was discovered when the researchers used an electron beam to etched tiny holes in graphene, adding a few palladium or nickel atoms to catalyze the dissociation of carbon bonds and bind to the edges of the holes making them stable.

When they tried adding carbon atoms, they found that these displaced the metal atoms and closed the holes together. The structure of the repaired area depends on carbon structure: hydrocarbon for example contains non-hexagonal defects while pure carbon results in perfect graphene repairs.

Posted: Jul 11,2012 by Ron Mertens