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Newly-discovered ‘3D graphene’ may lead to electronics [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2014-1-18 09:24:05 |Display all floors
Hi-tech gamechanger: Newly-discovered ‘3D graphene’ may lead to electronics revolution
January 17, 2014

3DTDS research co-authors Zahid Hussain (L) and Zhi-Xun Shen (R) pose with Wanli Yang next to Beamline 10.0.1 at Berkeley Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS) facility.

Berkeley Lab researchers have found a 3D analogue of the cutting-edge 2D material graphene. It could revolutionize the high tech industry, bringing things like much faster, far more compact hard drives, and paving way for new electronic technologies.

                  Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley  National Laboratory have announced the discovery of a compound that  can exist as a form of quantum matter known as the  three-dimensional topological Dirac semi-metal (3DTDS).  

  The research team supported by the DOE Office of Science and the  National Science Foundation of China used sodium bismuthate to  produce this novel state, the very existence of which had been  proposed by theorists fairly recently. The discovery comes less  than a decade after graphene, the thinnest and the strongest  known stable material with amazing conductivity of electricity  and heat was isolated by UK-based, Russian-born scientists, Andre  Geim and Konstantin Novoselov.  

  Although dubbed a “wonder material,” graphene has not  yet seen an applicable use on an industrial scale. The reason for  that lies in its ground-breaking properties and structure, being  a two-dimensional, one-atom thick layer of graphite.  

“Ever since graphene was isolated in 2004, researchers around  the world have looked for ways to take full advantage of its many  desirable properties. But the very thing that makes graphene  special – the fact that it consists of a single layer of atoms –  sometimes makes it difficult to work with, and a challenge to  manufacture,” explains Yulin Chen, a physicist with Berkeley  Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS).

However, the potential of the new material has fascinated  scientists and governments alike, with thousands of research  papers on graphene written since 2005 and numerous research  groups created in the UK, the US, Europe, Japan, China, Russia.  The EU promised to support the research of graphene with 1  billion euro ($1.3bn) if it can yield practical results in the  fields of electronics, energy, health and construction.  

  While some developed a way to produce semi-transparent,  ultra-thin and ultra-light graphene tape, others, including the  Berkeley Lab group, focused on looking for means of enclosing  graphene’s properties into a three-dimensional material.  

  Chen, who initiated the discovery, now states that “a 3DTDS  is a natural three-dimensional counterpart to graphene with  similar or even better electron mobility and velocity.”  

  The material’s properties feature magnetoresistance “orders  of magnitude higher than the materials now used in hard  drives” – a potential breakthrough for computer  technologies. It also “opens the door to more efficient optical  sensors,” Chen adds.  

  Unfortunately, sodium bismuthate, whose electronic structure was  tested at the lab’s ASL facility, is too unstable to be used in  devices without proper packaging. But having proved that a 3D  structure can actually have comparable or even better features of  graphene, the scientists are now extremely keen to explore and  develop sturdier 3DTDS materials.  

  If developed, they will provide “a significant improvement in  efficiency in many applications,” while being “easier to  fabricate,” Chen stresses, hinting that future electronic  technologies are close to reality.

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Post time 2014-1-18 09:26:06 |Display all floors
China must put a lot of money into this research!

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Post time 2014-1-19 08:56:20 |Display all floors
buddy1 Post time: 2014-1-18 09:26
China must put a lot of money into this research!

Very true

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Post time 2014-1-19 11:09:06 |Display all floors
ning05 Post time: 2014-1-19 08:56
Very true

Note these are people working in the US, not in China

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Post time 2014-6-12 12:20:33 |Display all floors
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