Skip to comments.Scientists slice graphite into atom-thick sheets
Posted on 10/22/2004 12:09:03 AM PDT by Stoat
Scientists slice graphite into atom-thick sheets
Published Thursday 21st October 2004 23:29 GMT
An international team of scientists has made a new material just one atom thick, by extracting a single plane of carbon from a graphite crystal. Known as graphene, the new fabric effectively exists in just two dimensions, and could pave the way for computers built from single molecules.
In the latest edition of Science, published tomorrow, the scientists from Manchester University and Chernogolovka, Russia, explain that the atomic sheet is a fullerene molecule. Fullerenes are a class of carbon molecules discovered in the last twenty years. The first, the famous football-shaped Carbon-60 molecule, was named for architect Buckminster Fuller, because of its resemblance to his geodesic dome structures.
The sheet of atoms is highly flexible, stable and strong and demonstrates remarkable conductivity. Manchester Universitys Professor Andre Geim says that qualities like this have been found so far only in nanotubes. "As carbon nanotubes are basically made from rolled-up narrow stripes of graphene, any of the thousands of applications currently considered for nanotubes renowned for their unique properties can also apply to graphene itself," he said.
Although the samples they have studied are mere microns across, the researchers found that the electrons will travel across the material without scattering over submicron distances ideal for building very fast switching transistors. The researchers have even managed to demonstrate an ambipolar field effect transistor (a transistor commonly used to amplify a weak signal, such as a wireless signal) that works under ambient conditions.
Geim adds that there is some way to go still before the material can legitimately be considered the next big thing. Currently, the samples are tens of microns across, but for real engineering, the scientist says wafers will need to be a few inches in size.
However, Dr. Novoselov, Geims counterpart at Chernogolovka, is optimistic: "Only ten years ago carbon nanotubes were less than a micron long. Now, scientists can make nanotubes several centimetres long, and similar progress can reasonably be expected for carbon nanofabric too."
No matter what the article says, Al Gore invented this.
I did that in my kitchen last week, without bragging about it.
Well, that's just fine.
before or after you built the atom smasher from washing machine parts?
So, back-engineered alien UFO technology surfaces again!
Seriously, if they can figure out how to bond this (...is it warpable, can it be woven instead of just bonding to a substrate?), then perhaps we can start to look seriously at the Space Elevator. Now starting THAT project would be a worthy goal for W in his second term.
That would sure make the keyboard impossible to use.
You just have to develop liiiiitle tiiiiiny fingertips.
Re: ambipolar field effect transistor qualities
S. J. Tans, R. M. Verschueren, and C. Dekker, Room temperature tran-sistor based on a single carbon nanotube, Nature, vol. 393, pp. 4952,1998.
I don't think the response to terrorism is to stop progress. Perhaps such a target would be exactly what they'd want to hit, but we Americans don't stop living just because they'd want to kill us, do we?
Some folks think there were three.
I could do the same thing with a number 3 pencil...
Boy, that could cause a really nasty "paper cut".
Sounds like we're approaching ET cleverness in such constructions.
I think one or more of the filmy, foily artifacts from more than a crash or there was analyzed to find an odd mix of elements bonded together in a mystifying layering wherein each element was only an atom or so thick in it's layer.
My Grandma could do this with a roast.
Then we're in agreement. I thought you were implying we shouldn't build it because they'd target it. Actually, it might be tasty bait to lure the rodents out!
What, make it tough and char it to carbon?
Old technology... fast food restaurants have been doing this with cheese and bacon for decades.
Thin yes, 2 dimensions only....I think not.
Key word is "effectively."
When I first read it, I also scoffed at it being typical 21st century hyperbole... but then, reading on, I realized the statement was meant to describe an actual characteristic of the material. In some ways, it behaves as if there's no third dimension, and thereby reduces losses in that dimension.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.