From transparent films that can be used to repel mosquitoes to balls that improve battery safety, the magical material graphene can be used in many forms,media reported. Scientists are particularly excited about nanostrips for energy storage and computation, but producing these ultra-thin graphene strips has proved to be a daunting task. But scientists say they have made a breakthrough in the field, inventing a way to efficiently produce graphene nanostrips directly on semiconductor surfaces for the first time.
Unlike honeycomb-like carbon atom sheets that produce graphene, the graphene nanostrip consists of thin strips that are only a few atoms wide. The material has huge potential to be used as a cheaper, smaller alternative to silicon transistors — it runs faster, uses less power, or acts as an electrode for batteries — and can be recharged in just five minutes.
Professor Konstantin Amsharov, a chemist from the University of Martin Luther Halleweitenberg (MLU) in Germany and the author of the study, said: “That’s why many research groups from around the world are working on graphene nanostrips. “
At the moment, graphene bands are generally made on gold surfaces, but we know that gold is not only expensive but also an electrical conductor, which erases the properties of nanostrips, which is why they are so limited to use outside the lab. It also means that moving the nanobelt to another surface requires very careful care and is by no means easy.
But now Amsharov has teamed up with researchers from Germany, the United States and Poland to develop a simpler method of producing graphene nanostrips that have stitched individual atoms together.
“Our new approach gives us complete control over the way graphene nanostrips are assembled,” amsharov said. It is also more cost-effective than previous processes. “
The team says the new ability to produce customizable graphene nanostrips directly on semiconductor surfaces does not require metal surfaces to neutralise them, opening up some exciting possibilities. It will not only be used for applications including data storage, but also potentially become an efficient semiconductor for advanced electronic devices, including quantum computers.