Graphene: A primer on the miracle material

Graphene is sometimes described as being two-dimensional, or 2D, which is probably more a reflection of the enthusiasm people feel about the material rather than a statement of fact since graphene is actually one atom thick. 

It may only be one single atom, but it’s still there, which means that graphene is, in fact, three-dimensional.

Another interesting thing about graphene is that the naturally occurring composite mineral it’s extracted from – graphite – has been in use for thousands of years in such things as ceramic paints, and it’s been used in pencils for decades. But only now has graphene been extracted from it and suggested for a wide array of applications.  Continue reading Graphene: A primer on the miracle material

Researchers create ‘extremely small’ sensor using ‘white graphene’

Researchers from TU Delft in the Netherlands, in collaboration with a team at the University of Cambridge, have found a way to create and clean tiny mechanical sensors in a scalable manner.

They created these sensors by suspending a two-dimensional sheet of hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN), or “white graphene” over small holes in a silicon substrate. This innovation could lead to extremely small gas and pressure sensors for future electronics.

Hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) is an interesting material, since it has a honeycomb lattice structure similar to that of graphite. But while graphite conducts electricity, h-BN acts as an insulator.  Continue reading Researchers create ‘extremely small’ sensor using ‘white graphene’

Nano-chimneys can cool circuits, say Rice University scientists

From the Rice University website

The Rice lab of theoretical physicist Boris Yakobson found that putting a cone-like “chimney” between the graphene and nanotube all but eliminates a barrier that blocks heat from escaping.

The research appears in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Physical Chemistry C.

Heat is transferred through phonons, quasiparticle waves that also transmit sound. The Rice theory offers a strategy to channel damaging heat away from next-generation nano-electronics.  Continue reading Nano-chimneys can cool circuits, say Rice University scientists