Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

Graphene's strength lies in its defects

12.11.2010
The website of the Nobel Prize shows a cat resting in a graphene hammock. Although fictitious, the image captures the excitement around graphene, which, at one atom thick, is the among the thinnest and strongest materials ever produced.

A significant obstacle to realizing graphene's potential lies in creating a surface large enough to support a theoretical sleeping cat. For now, material scientists stitch individual graphene sheets together to create sheets that are large enough to investigate possible applications.

Just as sewing patches of fabric together may create weaknesses where individual patches meet, defects can weaken the "grain boundaries" where graphene sheets are stitched together — at least that is what engineers had thought.

Now, engineers at Brown University and the University of Texas–Austin have discovered that the grain boundaries do not compromise the material's strength. The grain boundaries are so strong, in fact, that the sheets are nearly as strong as pure graphene. The trick, they write in a paper published in Science, lies in the angles at which the individual sheets are stitched together.

"When you have more defects, you expect the strength to be compromised," said Vivek Shenoy, professor of engineering and the paper's corresponding author, "but here it is just the opposite."

The finding may propel development of larger graphene sheets for use in electronics, optics and other industries.

Graphene is a two-dimensional surface composed of strongly bonded carbon atoms in a nearly error-free order. The basic unit of this lattice pattern consists of six carbon atoms joined together chemically. When a graphene sheet is joined with another graphene sheet, some of those six-carbon hexagons become seven-carbon bonds — heptagons. The spots where heptagons occur are called "critical bonds."

The critical bonds, located along the grain boundaries, had been considered the weak links in the material. But when Shenoy and Rassin Grantab, a fifth-year graduate student, analyzed how much strength is lost at the grain boundaries, they learned something different.

"It turns out that these grain boundaries can, in some cases, be as strong as pure graphene," Shenoy said.

The engineers then set out to learn why. Using atomistic calculations, they discovered that tilting the angle at which the sheets meet — the grain boundaries — influenced the material's overall strength. The optimal orientation producing the strongest sheets, they report, is 28.7 degrees for sheets with an armchair pattern and 21.7 degrees for sheets with a zigzag layout. These are called large-angle grain boundaries.

Large-angle grain boundaries are stronger because the bonds in the heptagons are closer in length to the bonds naturally found in graphene. That means in large-angle grain boundaries, the bonds in the heptagons are less strained, which helps explain why the material is nearly as strong as pure graphene despite the defects, Shenoy said.

"It's the way the defects are arranged," Shenoy said. "The grain boundary can accommodate the heptagons better. They're more relaxed."

Rodney Ruoff from the University of Texas–Austin's Department of Mechanical Engineering is a contributing author on the paper. The National Science Foundation and the Semiconductor Research Corporation's Nanoelectronics Research Initiative funded the research.

Courtney Anderson | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.brown.edu

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Simple processing technique could cut cost of organic PV and wearable electronics
06.12.2016 | Georgia Institute of Technology

nachricht InLight study: insights into chemical processes using light
05.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Gravitationswellen als Sensor für Dunkle Materie

Die mit der Entdeckung von Gravitationswellen entstandene neue Disziplin der Gravitationswellen-Astronomie bekommt eine weitere Aufgabe: die Suche nach Dunkler Materie. Diese könnte aus einem Bose-Einstein-Kondensat sehr leichter Teilchen bestehen. Wie Rechnungen zeigen, würden Gravitationswellen gebremst, wenn sie durch derartige Dunkle Materie laufen. Dies führt zu einer Verspätung von Gravitationswellen relativ zu Licht, die bereits mit den heutigen Detektoren messbar sein sollte.

Im Universum muss es gut fünfmal mehr unsichtbare als sichtbare Materie geben. Woraus diese Dunkle Materie besteht, ist immer noch unbekannt. Die...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Wie sich Zellen gegen Salmonellen verteidigen

Bioinformatiker der Goethe-Universität haben das erste mathematische Modell für einen zentralen Verteidigungsmechanismus der Zelle gegen das Bakterium Salmonella entwickelt. Sie können ihren experimentell arbeitenden Kollegen damit wertvolle Anregungen zur Aufklärung der beteiligten Signalwege geben.

Jedes Jahr sind Salmonellen weltweit für Millionen von Infektionen und tausende Todesfälle verantwortlich. Die Körperzellen können sich aber gegen die...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Greifswalder Forscher dringen mit superauflösendem Mikroskop in zellulären Mikrokosmos ein

Das Institut für Anatomie und Zellbiologie weiht am Montag, 05.12.2016, mit einem wissenschaftlichen Symposium das erste Superresolution-Mikroskop in Greifswald ein. Das Forschungsmikroskop wurde von der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) und dem Land Mecklenburg-Vorpommern finanziert. Nun können die Greifswalder Wissenschaftler Strukturen bis zu einer Größe von einigen Millionstel Millimetern mittels Laserlicht sichtbar machen.

Weit über hundert Jahre lang galt die von Ernst Abbe 1873 publizierte Theorie zur Auflösungsgrenze von Lichtmikroskopen als ein in Stein gemeißeltes Gesetz....

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics
Veranstaltungen

Wie aus reinen Daten ein verständliches Bild entsteht

05.12.2016 | Veranstaltungen

Von „Coopetition“ bis „Digitale Union“ – Die Fertigungsindustrien im digitalen Wandel

02.12.2016 | Veranstaltungen

Experten diskutieren Perspektiven schrumpfender Regionen

01.12.2016 | Veranstaltungen

 
VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Weiterbildung zu statistischen Methoden in der Versuchsplanung und -auswertung

06.12.2016 | Seminare Workshops

Bund fördert Entwicklung sicherer Schnellladetechnik für Hochleistungsbatterien mit 2,5 Millionen

06.12.2016 | Förderungen Preise

Innovationen für eine nachhaltige Forstwirtschaft

06.12.2016 | Agrar- Forstwissenschaften