Graphene has been hailed as the stepping path to our industrial and tech future. But researchers have now come up with a way to create artificial graphene which may prove far more versatile and useful.
Real graphene comprises of one-atom-thick sheets of carbon atoms. These atoms are tied together the way cells in a honeycomb are. This results in excellent conductivity as well as making it the thinnest and strongest material. And these properties make it a great choice for manufacturing in tech and many other industries.
However, some European research institutes have been collaborating on advancing the work and have been able to create a brilliant, artificial form of graphene which may prove even more useful. In this case, the carbon atoms in the honeycomb structure have been replaced by nanometer-thick semiconductor crystals. The material will still be durable but the composition of these crystals can be changed whenever needed.
For instance, if an ultra-strong material with excellent conductivity properties are needed, the crystals in this artificial graphene can be given a chemical composition that supports high conductivity. Researchers from University of Luxembourg say, “‘Artificial graphene’ should lead to faster, smaller and lighter electronic and optical devices of all kinds, including higher performance photovoltaic cells, lasers or LED lighting.”
Among other European institutes which have collaborated on this research is Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems in Germany, Institute for Electronics, Microelectronics and Nanotechnology in France, and University of Utrecht in The Netherlands.