Defects

Researchers study the effects of defects on electron emission of Graphene electrodes

Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the University of Science and Technology of China and North China University of Water Resources and Electric Power have studied the effects of irradiation defects on the work function of graphene electrodes in thermionic energy converters (TECs) and found that the generation of defects in graphene through irradiation would increase the work function and reduce the electron emission capacity.

Schematic diagram of a thermionic energy converter. (Image by ZHAO Ming) 

Graphene has great potential as an electrode coating material for TECs of the microreactor, which can significantly improve the electron emission ability of electrode. Electrode materials will be exposed to irradiation by high-energy particles during TECs use. Previous studies have shown that the types of defects induced by irradiation in graphene are mainly Stone-Wales defects, doping defects, and carbon vacancies. The appearance of defects will affect the adsorption properties of alkali and alkaline earth metals on the graphene surface in the electrode gap, and then change the electron emission properties of the graphene coating.

Read the full story Posted: Nov 24,2022

Researchers succeed in creating single-crystal, large-area, fold-free monolayer graphene

A team of researchers, led by Director Rod Ruoff at the Center for Multidimensional Carbon Materials (CMCM) within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) and including graduate students at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), has achieved growth and characterization of large area, single-crystal graphene totally free from wrinkles, folds, or adlayers. It was said to be 'the most perfect graphene that has been grown and characterized, to date'.

Director Ruoff notes: This pioneering breakthrough was due to many contributing factors, including human ingenuity and the ability of the CMCM researchers to reproducibly make large-area single-crystal Cu-Ni(111) foils, on which the graphene was grown by chemical vapor deposition (CVD) using a mixture of ethylene with hydrogen in a stream of argon gas. Student Meihui Wang, Dr. Ming Huang, and Dr. Da Luo along with Ruoff undertook a series of experiments of growing single-crystal and single-layer graphene on such ‘home-made’ Cu-Ni(111) foils under different temperatures.

Read the full story Posted: Aug 27,2021

International team discovers "mediator atoms" that help graphene self-heal

An international team of researchers in Korea, the UK, Japan, the US and France recently shed light on the mysterious ability of graphene (and other carbon materials) to change its structure and even self-heal defects, by showing that fast-moving carbon atoms catalyze many of the restructuring processes.

Until now, researchers typically explained the structural evolution of graphene defects via a mechanism known as a Stone-Thrower-Wales type bond rotation. This mechanism involves a change in the connectivity of atoms within the lattice, but it has a relatively large activation energy, which makes it seem unlikely to succeed without some form of assistance.

Read the full story Posted: Jul 16,2020

New method uses hydrogen plasma to smooth out wrinkles in graphene

Researchers from Nanjing University in China have developed a method to make large graphene films free of any wrinkles. The ultra-smooth films could enable large-scale production of electronic devices that harness the unique physical and chemical properties of graphene and other 2D materials.

Wrinkles  disappear when graphene is treated with a hydrogen plasma imageWrinkles in graphene films grown via chemical vapor deposition appear as jagged white lines at the top of this atomic force microscope image (left), but they disappear when the material is treated with a hydrogen plasma (right). Credit: Nature

Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) is the best-known method for making high-quality graphene sheets. It typically involves growing graphene by pumping methane gas onto copper substrates heated to temperatures around 1,000 °C, and then transferring the graphene to another surface such as silicon. But some of the graphene sticks to the copper surface, and as the graphene and copper expand and contract at different rates, wrinkles form in the graphene sheets. Such wrinkles often present hurdles for charge carriers and lower the film’s conductivity. Other researchers have tried to reduce wrinkles using low growth temperatures or special copper substrates, but the wrinkles have proven difficult to eliminate entirely, according to Libo Gao, a physicist at Nanjing University.

Read the full story Posted: Jan 17,2020

An activated carbon-coated lint roller can yield super-clean graphene

In order for CVD graphene to be used in its intended application, it needs to be transferred from the growth substrate to a target substrate a challenging but extremely important process step. Typically the transfer is done by spin-coating a supporting polymer layer and then chemically dissolving away the copper to release the graphene film from the substrate. The transferred graphene produced in this way is prone to contamination from the chemical agents used to remove the growth substrate as well as defective amorphous carbon generated during the high-temperature CVD growth. It also frequently leads to a substantial amount of polymer particle residue on the graphene generated during the transfer process. A third source of contamination could be airborne particles that are adsorbed onto the graphene surface.

Graphene treated by the activated carbon-coated lint roller imageTop: Schematic of the activated carbon-coated lint roller for cleaning the graphene surface. Bottom left: AFM image of unclean graphene on Cu foil. Bottom right: AFM image of superclean graphene on Cu foil. Image taken from Nanowerk

Researchers from Peking University and Tsinghua University in China and University of Manchester in the UK have recently demonstrated that the amorphous carbon contaminants on CVD-produced graphene, which could greatly degrade its properties, can be removed by an activated carbon-coated lint roller, relying on the strong interactions between the amorphous carbon and activated carbon.

Read the full story Posted: Oct 03,2019

LG Electronics to start offering CVD graphene materials

According to our information, LG Electronics is aiming to start supplying CVD graphene materials worldwide soon, with an aim to accelerate the adoption of CVD graphene in various applications. LG is collaborating with research groups to identify new applications for graphene sheets.

Large LG Electronics logo
LG Electronics developed its own roll-to-roll production process in addition to a specific quality control system for its graphene. LG says that its inspection system can manage uniformity deviations in crystal size, defects and electrical properties in its graphene to within 10%.

Read the full story Posted: Sep 13,2019

University of Illinois team finds that defects in graphene membranes may improve biomolecule transport

Researchers at the University of Illinois examined how tiny defects in graphene membranes, formed during fabrication, could be used to improve molecule transport. They found that the defects make a big difference in how molecules move along a membrane surface. Instead of trying to fix these flaws, the team set out to use them to help direct molecules into the membrane pores.

Nanopore membranes have generated interest in biomedical research because they help researchers investigate individual molecules - atom by atom - by pulling them through pores for physical and chemical characterization. This technology could ultimately lead to devices that can quickly sequence DNA, RNA or proteins.

Read the full story Posted: Aug 06,2019

MIT team uses wax to smooth out wrinkles in graphene

Researchers at MIT have utilized an everyday material - wax- to protect graphene from performance-impairing wrinkles and contaminants. Removing graphene from the substrate it’s grown on and transferring it to a new substrate is known t be challenging. Traditional methods encase the graphene in a polymer that protects against breakage but also introduces defects and particles onto graphene’s surface. These interrupt electrical flow and stifle performance.

MIT process for smoothing out graphene wrinkles with wax imagea Schematics showing the process of paraffin-assisted graphene transfer. b Schematics showing the effect of paraffin’s thermal expansion on graphene wrinkle. c A typical paraffin-supported graphene film floated on water at different temperatures

The MIT team describes a fabrication technique that applies a wax coating to a graphene sheet and heats it up. Heat causes the wax to expand, which smooths out the graphene to reduce wrinkles. Moreover, the coating can be washed away without leaving behind much residue.

Read the full story Posted: Mar 07,2019

Researchers catalog graphene defects

Researchers at MIT have produced a catalog of the exact sizes and shapes of defects and holes that would most likely be observed (as opposed to the many more that are theoretically possible) when a given number of atoms is removed from the atomic lattice. The MIT team collaborated on this project with researchers at Lockheed Martin Space and Oxford University.

MIT develops graphene defects catalog imageThe 12 different forms that six-atom vacancy defects in graphene can have, as determined by the researchers

It’s been a longstanding problem in the graphene field, what we call the isomer cataloging problem for nanopores, Michael Strano from MIT says. "For those who want to use graphene or similar two-dimensional, sheet-like materials for applications including chemical separation or filtration", he says, we just need to understand the kinds of atomic defects that can occur, compared to the vastly larger number that are never seen".

Read the full story Posted: Jan 16,2019

NYU team's findings on defects in graphene to benefit environmental and medical sensors

A team of NYU researchers has tackled the longstanding question of how to build ultra-sensitive, ultra-small electrochemical sensors with homogeneous and predictable properties, by discovering how to engineer graphene structure on an atomic level. The team's findings could benefit biochemical detection, environmental monitoring, and lab-on-a-chip applications

Finely tuned electrochemical sensors (also referred to as electrodes) that are as small as biological cells have tremendous potential for medical diagnostics and environmental monitoring systems. However, efforts to develop them have encountered obstacles, like the lack of quantitative principles to guide the precise engineering of the electrode sensitivity to biochemical molecules.

Read the full story Posted: Dec 16,2018