Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors


Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Electron 'sniper' targets graphene

Abstract:
Because of its intriguing properties graphene could be the ideal material for building new kinds of electronic devices such as sensors, screens, or even quantum computers.

Electron 'sniper' targets graphene

Oxford, UK | Posted on October 25th, 2012

One of the keys to exploiting graphene's potential is being able to create atomic-scale defects - where carbon atoms in its flat, honeycomb-like structure are rearranged or 'knocked out' - as these influence its electrical, chemical, magnetic, and mechanical properties.

A team led by Oxford University scientists report in Nature Communications a new approach to a new approach to engineering graphene's atomic structure with unprecedented precision.

'Current approaches for producing defects in graphene are either like a 'shotgun' where the entire sample is sprayed with high energy ions or electrons to cause widespread defects, or a chemistry approach where many regions of the graphene are chemically reacted,' said Jamie Warner from Oxford University's Department of Materials, a member of the team.

'Both methods lack any form of control in terms of spatial precision and also the defect type, but to date are the only reported methods known for defect creation.'

The new method replaces the 'shotgun' with something more like a sniper rifle: a minutely-controlled beam of electrons fired from an electron microscope.

'The shotgun approach is restricted to micron scale precision, which is roughly an area of 10,000,000 square nanometres, we demonstrated a precision to within 100 square nanometres, which is about four orders of magnitude better,' explains Alex Robertson of Oxford University's Department of Materials, another member of the team.

Yet it isn't just about the accuracy of a single 'shot'; the researchers also show that by controlling the length of time graphene is exposed to their focused beam of electrons they can control the size and type of defect created.

'Our study reveals for the first time that only a few types of defects are actually stable in graphene, with several defects being quenched by surface atoms or relaxing back to pristine by bond rotations,' Jamie tells me.

The ability to create just the right kind of stable defects in graphene's crystal structure is going to be vital if its properties are to be harnessed for applications such as mobile phones and flexible displays.

'Defect sites in graphene are much more chemically reactive, so we can use defects as a site for chemical functionalisation of the graphene. So we can attach certain molecules, such as biomolecules, to the graphene to act as a sensor,' Alex tells me.

'Defects in graphene can also give rise to localized electron spin, an attribute that has important future use in quantum nanotechnology and quantum computers.'

At the moment scaling up the team's technique into a manufacturing process to create graphene-based technologies is still a way off. Currently electron microscopes are the only systems that can achieve the necessary exquisite control of an electron beam.

But, Alex says, it is always possible that a scalable electron beam lithography type technique may be developed in the future that could allow for defect patterning in graphene.

And it's worth remembering that it wasn't so long ago that the technology needed to etch millions of transistors onto a tiny slice of silicon seemed like an impossible dream.

####

About University of Oxford
Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world, and a leader in learning, teaching and research.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Press & Information Office
telephone:+44 01865 280528

Copyright © University of Oxford

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

Nature Communications paper:

Department of Materials:

Related News Press

News and information

Nanoparticle versus cancer: Scientists have created nanoparticles which cure cancer harmlessly July 22nd, 2016

Quantum drag:University of Iowa physicist says current in one iron magnetic sheet can create quantized spin waves in another, separate sheet July 22nd, 2016

New Yale-developed device lengthens the life of quantum information July 22nd, 2016

RMIT researchers make leap in measuring quantum states July 21st, 2016

The future of perovskite solar cells has just got brighter -- come rain or shine: Korean researchers at POSTECH have succeeded in developing high-efficiency perovskite solar cells that retain excellent performance over two months in a very humid condition July 21st, 2016

Graphene/ Graphite

Graphene photodetectors: Thinking outside the 2-D box July 21st, 2016

A glimpse inside the atom: Using electron microscopes, it is possible to image individual atoms July 20th, 2016

Graphene-infused packaging is a million times better at blocking moisture July 15th, 2016

Display technology/LEDs/SS Lighting/OLEDs

Researchers develop faster, precise silica coating process for quantum dot nanorods July 12th, 2016

Integrated trio of 2-D nanomaterials unlocks graphene electronics applications: Voltage-controlled oscillator developed at UC Riverside could be used in thousands of applications from computers to wearable technologies July 7th, 2016

GraphExeter illuminates bright new future for flexible lighting devices June 23rd, 2016

New nanomaterial offers promise in bendable, wearable electronic devices: Electroplated polymer makes transparent, highly conductive, ultrathin film June 13th, 2016

Quantum Computing

New Yale-developed device lengthens the life of quantum information July 22nd, 2016

RMIT researchers make leap in measuring quantum states July 21st, 2016

Electron 'spin control' of levitated nanodiamonds could bring advances in sensors, quantum information processing July 20th, 2016

Tiny works of art with great potential: New materials for the construction of metal-organic 2-dimensional quasicrystals July 15th, 2016

Sensors

Electron 'spin control' of levitated nanodiamonds could bring advances in sensors, quantum information processing July 20th, 2016

Easier, faster, cheaper: A full-filling approach to making nanotubes of consistent quality: Approach opens a straightforward route for engineering the properties of single-wall carbon nanotubes July 19th, 2016

Researchers invent 'smart' thread that collects diagnostic data when sutured into tissue: Advances could pave way for new generation of implantable and wearable diagnostics July 18th, 2016

UNIST engineers octopus-inspired smart adhesive pads July 15th, 2016

Discoveries

Nanoparticle versus cancer: Scientists have created nanoparticles which cure cancer harmlessly July 22nd, 2016

Quantum drag:University of Iowa physicist says current in one iron magnetic sheet can create quantized spin waves in another, separate sheet July 22nd, 2016

New Yale-developed device lengthens the life of quantum information July 22nd, 2016

Research team led by NUS scientists develop plastic flexible magnetic memory device: Novel technique to implant high-performance magnetic memory chip on a flexible plastic surface without compromising performance July 21st, 2016

Announcements

Nanoparticle versus cancer: Scientists have created nanoparticles which cure cancer harmlessly July 22nd, 2016

Quantum drag:University of Iowa physicist says current in one iron magnetic sheet can create quantized spin waves in another, separate sheet July 22nd, 2016

New Yale-developed device lengthens the life of quantum information July 22nd, 2016

Graphene photodetectors: Thinking outside the 2-D box July 21st, 2016

Tools

The birth of quantum holography: Making holograms of single light particles! July 21st, 2016

A glimpse inside the atom: Using electron microscopes, it is possible to image individual atoms July 20th, 2016

Nanometrics Announces Upcoming Investor Events July 20th, 2016

A mini-antenna for the data processing of tomorrow: Nature Nanotechnology: Short-wavelength spin waves generated directly for the first time July 20th, 2016

Printing/Lithography/Inkjet/Inks

Nanoscientists develop the 'ultimate discovery tool': Rapid discovery power is similar to what gene chips offer biology June 25th, 2016

Perovskite solar cells surpass 20 percent efficiency: EPFL researchers are pushing the limits of perovskite solar cell performance by exploring the best way to grow these crystals June 13th, 2016

'On-the-fly' 3-D print system prints what you design, as you design it June 1st, 2016

Physicists create first metamaterial with rewritable magnetic ordering May 23rd, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic