Scientists use polymer to synthesize a graphene-like material

If you take Graphene, and then insert holes in a specific size and distribution, then it should be possible to impart the material particular electronic characteristics. This is why there is an intensive research to synthesize and characterize graphene-like polymers.

Now scientists have successfully created a graphene-like polymer. To achieve this feat the researchers allowed chemical building blocks of functionalized phenyl rings to grow spontaneously into a two-dimensional structure on a silver substrate. This created a porous form of graphene with pore diameters of a single atom and pore-to-pore spacings of less than a nanometer.

Until now, porous graphene has been manufactured using lithographic processes during which the holes are subsequently etched into the layer of material. These holes are, however, much larger than just a few atoms in diameter. They are also not as near to each other and significantly less precisely shaped as with the "bottom-up" technique based on molecular self-assembly developed by the Empa and Max Planck group. In this process the molecular building blocks join together spontaneously at chemically defined linking points to form a regular, two-dimensional network. This allows graphene-like polymers to be synthesized with pores which are finer than is possible by any other technique.

Posted: Nov 20,2009 by Ron Mertens