Growing geodesic carbon nanodomes

October 12, 2009

Researchers analyzing the assembly of graphene (sheets of carbon only one atom thick) on a surface of iridium have found that the sheets grow by first forming tiny carbon domes. The discovery offers new insight into the growth of graphene layers and points the way to possible methods for assembling components of graphene-based computer circuits.

Paolo Lacovig, Monica Pozzo, Dario Alfè, Paolo Vilmercati, Alessandro Baraldi, and Silvano Lizzit at institutions in Italy, the UK and USA report their discovery in a paper appearing October 12 in the journal Physical Review Letters. The researchers' spectroscopic study suggests that graphene grows in the form of tiny islands built of concentric rings of carbon atoms. The islands are strongly bonded to the iridium surface at their perimeters, but are not bonded to the iridium at their centers, which causes them to bulge upward in the middle to form minuscule geodesic domes. By adjusting the conditions as the carbon is deposited on the iridium, the researchers could vary the size of the carbon domes from a few nanometers to hundreds of nanometers across.

Investigating the formation of graphene nanodomes helps physicists to understand and control the production of graphene sheets. In combination with methods for adjusting the conductivity of graphene and related materials, physicists hope to replace electronics made of silicon and metal with tiny, efficient carbon-based chips.

Jorge Sofo and Renee Diehl (Penn State University) highlight the graphene nanodome research in a Viewpoint in the October 12 issue of Physics (physics.aps.org).

Also in Physics: Clearing Up Electron Microscopy Aberrations, and Yoctosecond Flashes from Quark Gluon Plasmas

A Viewpoint by Robert Klie (University of Illinois at Chicago) describes an approach for reducing aberrations in electron microscopy, setting a new standard for low-energy imaging. And Abishek Agarwal (American Physical Society) offers a Synopsis of a model that suggests that quark-gluon plasmas produced in particle colliders could emit the briefest light bursts yet, potentially offering illumination for ultra-fast images of high speed events in atomic and molecular experiments
-end-
About APS Physics: APS Physics (physics.aps.org) publishes expert written commentaries and highlights of papers appearing in the journals of the American Physical Society.

American Physical Society

Related Graphene Articles from Brightsurf:

How to stack graphene up to four layers
IBS research team reports a novel method to grow multi-layered, single-crystalline graphene with a selected stacking order in a wafer scale.

Graphene-Adsorbate van der Waals bonding memory inspires 'smart' graphene sensors
Electric field modulation of the graphene-adsorbate interaction induces unique van der Waals (vdW) bonding which were previously assumed to be randomized by thermal energy after the electric field is turned off.

Graphene: It is all about the toppings
The way graphene interacts with other materials depends on how these materials are brought into contact with the graphene.

Discovery of graphene switch
Researchers at Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (JAIST) successfully developed the special in-situ transmission electron microscope technique to measure the current-voltage curve of graphene nanoribbon (GNR) with observing the edge structure and found that the electrical conductance of narrow GNRs with a zigzag edge structure abruptly increased above the critical bias voltage, indicating that which they are expected to be applied to switching devices, which are the smallest in the world.

New 'brick' for nanotechnology: Graphene Nanomesh
Researchers at Japan advanced institute of science and technology (JAIST) successfully fabricated suspended graphene nanomesh (GNM) by using the focused helium ion beam technology.

Flatter graphene, faster electrons
Scientists from the Swiss Nanoscience Institute and the Department of Physics at the University of Basel developed a technique to flatten corrugations in graphene layers.

Graphene Flagship publishes handbook of graphene manufacturing
The EU-funded research project Graphene Flagship has published a comprehensive guide explaining how to produce and process graphene and related materials (GRMs).

How to induce magnetism in graphene
Graphene, a two-dimensional structure made of carbon, is a material with excellent mechani-cal, electronic and optical properties.

Graphene: The more you bend it, the softer it gets
New research by engineers at the University of Illinois combines atomic-scale experimentation with computer modeling to determine how much energy it takes to bend multilayer graphene -- a question that has eluded scientists since graphene was first isolated.

How do you know it's perfect graphene?
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory have discovered an indicator that reliably demonstrates a sample's high quality, and it was one that was hiding in plain sight for decades.

Read More: Graphene News and Graphene Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.