May 06, 2017 02:50 PM EDT
A high-temperature step-by-step process has shown that a single layer of graphene can be produced from a simple ethane or ethylene. Graphene is known to hold the key for the future engineering and technology, but unfortunately, the material is very difficult to produce.
A team of scientists has discovered a step-by-step processing of ethylene in a high temperature to more than 700 degrees Celcius change the alkene into graphene. This research is one step further to mass produce the material. The scientists have published their research in the Journal of Physical Chemistry.
Scientists from Georgia Institute of Technology in the U.S., Technische Universität München in Germany, and the University of St. Andrews in Scotland have been working together to find a way to produce graphene, according to a press release from the Georgia Institute of Technology on May 4. The scientists found that by heating ethylene, the smallest alkene molecule, in a high temperature, the molecule of ethylene transformed into graphene.
Since its discovery in 2004, graphene has been dubbed as "wonder material" as it has a super capacitive property, a very efficient conductor of heat and electrical, nearly transparent and biodegradable. Furthermore, graphene is 200 times stronger than steel, but it is extremely difficult to produce.
As graphene is a carbon atom material, scientists at the Georgia Tech decided to produce graphene from the most simple type of carbon, ethylene. The team decided to use a theoretical approach to producing the material. Regents’ Professor and F.E. Callaway endowed a chair in the Georgia Tech School of Physics, Uzi Landman heads the research.
“Bringing up the temperature essentially ‘boils’ the hydrogen out of the evolving metal-supported carbon structure," Professor Landman said. "Culminating in graphene.”
Based on his theoretical approach, Bokwon Yoon and Landman at the Georgia Tech Center for Computational Materials Science conducted the experimental research. While Professor Renald Schaub at the University of St. Andrews, Professor Ueli Heiz and Friedrich Esch at the Technische Universität München also conducted the experiment in their laboratory.
Their findings have given a new way to produce graphene which was extremely difficult to generate. Watch the challenge to produce the material below:
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