Researchers succeed in imaging how electrons move in graphene

Apr 27, 2017

Researchers at the University of Melbourne succeeded in imaging how electrons move in 2D graphene, an achievement which may boost the development of next-generation electronics. The new technique overcomes usual limitations of existing methods for understanding electric currents in devices based on ultra-thin materials, and so it is capable of imaging the behavior of moving electrons in structures only one atom in thickness.

Mapping electrons in graphene using diamonds image

The team used a special quantum probe based on an atomic-sized 'color center' found only in diamonds to image the flow of electric currents in graphene. The technique could be used to understand electron behavior in a variety of new technologies.

Researchers manage to grow graphene nanoribbons without the use of metal

Apr 05, 2017

A team at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and North Carolina State University has found a way to grow narrow ribbons of graphene without the use of metal substrates.

Growing GNR's without metal image

Narrow graphene ribbons can perform as a semiconductor if the ribbons are made with a specific edge shape, but to grow graphene nanoribbons with controlled width and edge structure from polymer precursors, is not a simple task. Previous researchers had used a metal substrate to catalyse a chemical reaction, but the metal substrate suppresses useful edge states and shrinks the desired band gap. The team in this work managed to grow graphene nanoribbons without a metal substrate. Instead, they injected charge carriers that promote a chemical reaction that converts a polymer precursor into a graphene nanoribbon.

Exeter team uses graphene oxide to design flexible and transparent memory devices

Apr 05, 2017

Researchers from the University of Exeter have developed an innovative new memory using a hybrid of graphene oxide and titanium oxide. These devices are reportedly low cost and environmentally friendly to produce, and are also suited for use in flexible electronic devices such as 'bendable' mobile phone, computer and television screens, and even 'intelligent' clothing. These devices may also have the potential to offer a cheaper and more adaptable alternative to 'flash memory', which is currently used in many common devices.

The team stated: "Using graphene oxide to produce memory devices has been reported before, but they were typically very large, slow, and aimed at the 'cheap and cheerful' end of the electronics goods market. Our hybrid graphene oxide-titanium oxide memory is, in contrast, just 50 nanometres long and 8 nanometres thick and can be written to and read from in less than five nanoseconds—with one nanometre being one billionth of a metre and one nanosecond a billionth of a second."

Researchers manage to 'flatten' wrinkles in graphene

Apr 05, 2017

Scientists at MIT, along with researchers from IBM, the University of California at Los Angeles, and Kyungpook National University in South Korea, have found a way to produce graphene with fewer wrinkles, and to iron out the wrinkles that do appear. The team reports that the techniques successfully produce wafer-scale, "single-domain" graphene - single layers of graphene that are uniform in both atomic arrangement and electronic performance.

After fabricating and then flattening out the graphene, the researchers tested its electrical conductivity. They found each wafer exhibited uniform performance, meaning that electrons flowed freely across each wafer, at similar speeds, even across previously wrinkled regions.

Graphene enables non-metal magnet

Mar 07, 2017

Researchers at the Czech Republic created magnetized carbon by treating graphene layers with non-metallic elements, said to be the first non-metal magnet to maintain its magnetic properties at room temperature. The researchers say such magnetic graphene-based materials have potential applications in the fields of spintronics, biomedicine and electronics.

By treating graphene with other non-metallic elements such as fluorine, hydrogen, and oxygen, the scientists were able to create a new source of magnetic moments that communicate with each other even at room temperature. This discovery is seen as "a huge advancement in the capabilities of organic magnets".