Researchers at Linköping University in Sweden introduced defects into the perfect surface of graphene on silicon carbide in order to increase the material’s capacity to store electrical charge. A report on this has been featured in the scientific journal Electrochimica Acta. This report increases the understanding of how this ultrathin material can be used.
Graphene, the thinnest material ever produced, comprises of a single layer of carbon atoms. They produce a chicken-wire structure one atom thick, with exceptional properties. Besides being flexible, graphene is almost 200 times stronger than steel. Liquids and gases cannot pass through it even though it is transparent. Graphene is also considered to be an exceptional conductor of electricity. A number of ideas are available on how to use this nanomaterial, and research on the future use of this material is rapidly growing.
Graphene is fascinating, but extremely difficult to study.
Mikhail Vagin, Principal Research Engineer, Department of Science and Technology, Linköping University
One factor that makes understanding of the properties of graphene a difficult process refers to fact that graphene is known as an “anisotropic” material. This explains that its properties differ from those measured at the edges when they are measured on the plane surface of the carbon atom layer. The fact that graphene can be produced in several ways actually complicates the attempts to understand the behavior of graphene at the atomic level. The properties of graphene in small flakes, which have several edges, vary in a number of ways from those of graphene developed as sheets with an area around 1 cm2.