Researchers provide a new twist on graphene's superconductivity

A team of researchers led by Columbia University have developed a new method to finely tune adjacent layers of graphene, in a research that provides new insights into the physics underlying the material's intriguing characteristics.

Researchers provide a new twist on graphene's superconductivity image

"Our work demonstrates new ways to induce superconductivity in twisted bilayer graphene, in particular, achieved by applying pressure," said Cory Dean, assistant professor of physics at Columbia and the study's principal investigator. "It also provides critical first confirmation of last year's MIT results - that bilayer graphene can exhibit electronic properties when twisted at an angle - and furthers our understanding of the system, which is extremely important for this new field of research".

Researchers catalog graphene defects

Researchers at MIT have produced a catalog of the exact sizes and shapes of defects and holes that would most likely be observed (as opposed to the many more that are theoretically possible) when a given number of atoms is removed from the atomic lattice. The MIT team collaborated on this project with researchers at Lockheed Martin Space and Oxford University.

MIT develops graphene defects catalog imageThe 12 different forms that six-atom vacancy defects in graphene can have, as determined by the researchers

“It’s been a longstanding problem in the graphene field, what we call the isomer cataloging problem for nanopores,” Michael Strano from MIT says. "For those who want to use graphene or similar two-dimensional, sheet-like materials for applications including chemical separation or filtration", he says, “we just need to understand the kinds of atomic defects that can occur,” compared to the vastly larger number that are never seen".

Army research shows how graphene oxide can help improve munitions

Researchers from the U.S. Army, in collaboration with RDECOM Research Laboratory, the Army's corporate research laboratory (ARL), Stanford University, MIT, University of Southern California and Argonne National Laboratory, have discovered a way to get more energy out of energetic materials containing aluminum, common in battlefield systems, by igniting aluminum micron powders coated with graphene oxide. This research could lead to enhanced energetic performance of metal powders as propellant/explosive ingredients in Army's munitions.

GO for better munitions image

This discovery makes use of graphene oxide as an effective light-weight additive for practical energetic applications using micron-size aluminum powders (µAl), i.e., aluminum particles one millionth of a meter in diameter.

Pristine graphene could lead to improved solar cells and photodetectors

An international research team, co-led by researchers at the University of California, Riverside, which also included researchers at MIT, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; Institute of High Performance Computing, Singapore; UC Berkeley; and National Institute for Materials Science, Japan, has found a new mechanism for highly-efficient charge and energy flow in graphene, opening the door to new types of light-harvesting devices.

The researchers made pristine graphene into different geometric shapes, connecting narrow ribbons and crosses to wide open rectangular regions. They found that when light illuminated constricted areas, such as the region where a narrow ribbon connected two wide regions, a large light-induced current, or photocurrent, was detected.

MIT researchers create synthetic cells through controlled fracturing of graphene

MIT engineers recently managed to create cell-sized robots that could collect data about their environment, but were quite tricky to manufacture. Now, the team has found a way to mass produce these synthetic cells (syncells) through controlled fracturing of graphene.

MIT creates synthetic cells through controlled fracturing of graphene image

The previously developed MIT robots were so small, that there was no point trying to steer them, but they could still sense and observe, scanning their surroundings and storing data for long periods of time. Later, they could be filtered out and analyzed to get a reading of water quality, for example, or biomarkers for disease in a patient's bloodstream.