Washington, August 7: Scientists have made a fundamental discovery that could make it easier for engineers to build electronic circuits out of the nanomaterial, graphene.
Graphene’s stock shot sky-high last year when the nanomaterial attracted the Nobel Prize in physics. Graphene is a layer of carbon atoms that is just one atom thick. When stacked atop one another, graphene sheets form graphite, the material found in pencils the world over. Thanks to the tools of nanotechnology, scientists today can make, manipulate and study graphene with ease. Its unique properties make it ideal for creating faster, more energy-efficient computers and other nanoelectronic devices.
Now, Rice materials scientist Boris Yakobson and colleagues have identified a basic technique that could make it possible for nanoelectronic designers to use well-understood chemical procedures to precisely control the electronic properties of “alloys” that contain both white and black graphene.
“We found there was a direct relationship between the useful properties of the final product and the chemical conditions that exist while it is being made,” Yakobson said.
“If more boron is available during chemical synthesis, that leads to alloys with a certain type of geometric arrangement of atoms.
“The beauty of the finding is that we can precisely predict the electronic properties of the final product based solely upon the conditions-technically speaking, the so-called ‘chemical potential’-during synthesis,” he added.
The study has been published in the journal Nano Letters. (ANI)