Graphene

Graphene is a new form of carbon with unrivalled potential and some very strange physics indeed. It is now shaping up to take over from silicon. Find out how this 21st-century material is winning hearts, minds and Nobel prizes.

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Graphene gives boost to Edison's Nickel-Iron battery

Graphene has been used to revive a rechargeable battery technology invented by Thomas Edison (yes, that Thomas Edison) more than 100 years ago in a collision of technologies that could prove very fruitful.Edison’s idea was that the batteries would power electric vehicles, but the largely technology fell out of use in the 1970s, because although it is very durable, the charge and discharge times are very slow.

June 26, 2012 by Lucy Sherriff

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Catching light in a graphene net

An international team of physicists led by US researcher Dmitri Basov, of the University of California, demonstrated that light can be caught and controlled within the two dimensional lattice of wonder-material graphene.Theory has suggested that long wavelength – infrared – photons could be caught and moved through graphene at much less than the velocity of light.

June 21, 2012 by Lucy Sherriff

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Supercharged silicon superposition smashes records

Superposition, the weird quantum state of existing in two places at once, is a notoriously unstable condition. But now a team of scientists at Oxford University, Simon Frase University and Berlin University report that they have managed to coax a the spins of ultra-pure silicon’s atomic nuclei to remain superpositioned for an astonishing three minutes and 12 seconds.

June 11, 2012 by Lucy Sherriff

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Graphene finds work as rust-proof coating

While researchers hoping to make graphene a serious contender to silicon’s electronic throne have some work still ahead of them, the material is finding more immediate application in other industrial areas.(This is probably the materials science version of waiting tables while auditioning for film roles in your spare time.

May 31, 2012 by Lucy Sherriff

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Hydrogen could be key to logic for graphene oxide

Researchers at Georgia Tech in the US have found that the availability of hydrogen might be the key to making graphene oxide behave well enough for use in nanoelectronics.It turns out that for more than a month after production, graphene oxide continues to interact with hydrogen, if it is available.

May 23, 2012 by Lucy Sherriff

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Samsung draws logic-worthy on/off ratio from graphene

Researchers at Samsung’s Advance Institute of Technology have developed a new transistor structure using everyone’s favourite two-dimensional material, Graphene.Despite its wonderful conductivity, electron mobility and so on that make it such an alluring prospect for chip designers bumping into the physical limits of silicon, it has no band gap.

May 22, 2012 by Lucy Sherriff

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Quantum dots boost graphene's photodetector dreams

Researchers working at the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) in Barcelona have built a super-sensitive photodetector by combining graphene with semiconducting quantum dots that outperforms other graphene based devices by a billion times.Speaking to PhysicsWorld , lead researcher Gerasimos Konstantatos explains: “We managed to successfully combine graphene with semiconducting nanocrystals to create complete new functionalities in terms of light sensing and light conversion to electricity.

May 18, 2012 by Lucy Sherriff

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Protein plus graphene equals enzyme detecting paper

Earlier this year, a group of researchers grew their own circuitry using proteins found in milk, mucus and blood. In a similar vein, scientists in Switzerland have announced work on layering proteins with graphene to create a new kind of conductive paper.

May 8, 2012 by Lucy Sherriff

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Layered graphene bests ITO's transparent conductivity

Sandwiching Ferric Chloride between two layers of graphene results in the most flexible, transparent conductive material ever, according to scientists at Exeter University.In a paper in Advanced Materials, the scientists describe how the sandwiching improves graphene’s poor conductivity – relative to the current transparent conductor of choice in electronics: Indium Tin Oxide (ITO).

May 4, 2012 by Lucy Sherriff

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300 atom quantum simulator smashes qubit record

An international group of scientists, working with the National Institute for Science and Technology (NIST) in the US have built the world’s largest ever quantum simulator, smashing previous record for the number of qubits. The device, which has passed a series of benchmarking tests, could be used to simulate problems in quantum mechanics that would be utterly intractable for a conventional computer.

May 1, 2012 by Lucy Sherriff

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Bismuth films exhibit graphene-like behaviour

MIT researchers have identified a new material that shares many of graphene’s interesting properties. Writing in Nano Letters, the researchers describe how thin films of bismuth-antimony share a property with graphene called two-dimensional Dirac cones.

April 27, 2012 by Lucy Sherriff

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IBM demos tunable terahertz filters

Graphene has shown itself, once again, to be capable of great wonders, as IBM demonstrates a notch filter that operates in the terahertz – or infrared - range. The company also showed off a linear polariser using the same stacked material.

April 25, 2012 by Lucy Sherriff

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First demo of quantum switching network claimed

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ) are claiming a world first with a demonstration of a quantum switching network. The Institute reports data being exchanged successfully "with high efficiency and fidelity" between two quantum nodes installed in two separate labs, connected by a 60-metre long optical fibre.

April 17, 2012 by Lucy Sherriff

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