A group of researchers from Queen’s University Belfast have discovered a stretchy miracle material that could be used to create highly resistant smart devices and scratch-proof paint for cars.
Led by Dr Elton Santos from the University’s School of Mathematics and Physics, an international team of researchers have found superlubricity in a few layers of graphene – a concept where friction vanishes or very nearly vanishes. The experts also found that a few layers of hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) are as strong as diamond but are more flexible, cheaper and lighter.
The findings, which have been reported in Nature Communications, reveal that the h-BN layers form the strongest thin insulator available globally and the unique qualities of the material could be used to create flexible and almost unbreakable smart devices, as well as scratch-proof paint for cars.
Dr Santos explains: “We have all at some point in life stepped on a slippery surface where we have to steady our balance so that we don’t fall. In most cases, liquid such as water or oil is the cause and this slippery state is what we describe as superlubricity – there is basically no friction on a surface.
“In graphene, this superlubricity state comes from atomic orbitals that compose carbon atoms. Normally, to generate friction some orbitals must overlap and heat, or some energy, must be released. Surprisingly, our research shows that graphene does not require this process, it just spontaneously slides on top of other layers but does not release heat. This means that graphene, which is 300 times stronger than steel, becomes mechanically weaker and can easily break.”
The research findings around the h-BN layers show that its mechanical properties are similar to diamond but are much cheaper, more flexible and lighter. It can easily be integrated in tiny electronic circuits or to reinforce structures as it is more robust against shocks or mechanical stress.
Dr Santos commented: “It has been a privilege to work with global researchers to predict and measure multilayer graphene and h-BN in an unprecedented way. It is nearly impossible at present to make major breakthroughs in science without working in collaboration. At Queen’s University we have advanced our knowledge of these layered materials and have made some major discoveries, which could help to tackle many global challenges within our society.
“Our key finding is that bilayer graphene develops a super-lubricity state where no heating is generated as the layers slide on top of each other. Just a few materials have these features and it looks like graphene has joined this exclusive club. During this process, we also discovered that h-BN, a common lubricant used in several automotive and industrial applications, developed a mechanical strength in a few layers. These are as strong as diamond, measured in terms of a quantity called Young modulus. This is a truly ground-breaking finding as even an insulator with thin layers could not keep its Young modulus at such high magnitudes.
“There are several possibilities for application of our discoveries which could have a positive impact in the real world. We are looking at a timeline of around five to ten years to transform the discoveries into real products but we could see benefits such as material reinforcement to mixture in solutions such as ink for paint, which would give further strength against corrosion and could potentially mean scratch-proof cars in future.
“This stretchy material could also be used in electronic devices and motor engines to make friction very low, as no heat is released.”
Dr Santos added: “In electronics, several companies are currently integrating h-BN in prototypes together with graphene for the creation of smart-devices such as iPads and Androids with unique features. These companies are also incorporating h-BN with polymers to give additional strength for novel mechanical applications such as aerospace, sports and civil engineering.
“We are currently looking for other combinations of 2D crystals which could be used for similar applications. So far, graphene seems the best candidate but there is still much to be explored within the library of layered materials. The future is bright for 2D materials because of the development, progress and research currently being performed worldwide.”
The Latest on: 2D materials
- Karnataka: Prof CNR Rao wins award for materials research on September 23, 2017 at 3:26 pm
The award will be presented to Prof Rao in Boston on November 29, for “interdisciplinary contributions to the development of novel functional materials, including nanomaterials, graphene, superconductivity, 2D materials and colossal magnetoresistance.&rdquo […]
- CNR Rao chosen for international honour for materials research on September 23, 2017 at 2:45 am
including nanomaterials (having particles of nanoscale dimensions), graphene (the strongest and thinnest material) and 2D materials, superconductivity, and colossal magnetoresistance (change in electrical resistance of a material in a magnetic field). […]
- Robust Catalysis on 2D Materials Encapsulating Metals: Concept, Application, and Perspective on September 22, 2017 at 11:50 am
State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemistry for Energy Materials (iChEM), Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Science, Dalian, China State Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid Surfaces ... […]
- introduction to the physics of silicene and other 2d materials Results on September 21, 2017 at 8:15 pm
You have reached the results for introduction to the physics of silicene and other 2d materials here on IPAddress.com. Use a different format for better results. Here on the search page for IPAddress.com you can search for any IP address, domain, or ... […]
- Uncommon Fluorescent Materials for Use in Rapid Light-Based Communications Systems on September 19, 2017 at 8:42 am
Two-dimensional (2D) materials known as molecular aggregates are extremely effective light emitters that function on a different principle than usual organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) or quantum dots. But their prospect as components for new kinds of ... […]
- Research on the Rich Behavior of 2D Materials on September 18, 2017 at 7:29 am
The rich behavior of two-dimensional (2D) materials, like electrons, molecules or atoms that are limited to move on a flat surface, was celebrated by the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics. Such materials, when compared to their three dimensional (3D ... […]
- Bionic Charlotte’s Web: Could Spiders Produce The Next Super-Strong Material? on September 17, 2017 at 1:00 am
The original research “Spider silk reinforced by graphene or carbon nanotubes was published in the journal 2D Materials. Full information is available here. […]
- Research creates possibilities to design new materials with strange and exotic properties on September 15, 2017 at 10:43 am
The 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics celebrated the rich behaviour of two-dimensional (2D) materials, like atoms, molecules, or electrons that are confined to move on a flat surface. Compared to their three dimensional (3D) counterparts, such materials exhibit ... […]
- ISO Publishes Vocabulary Standard for Graphene and Related 2D Materials on September 15, 2017 at 1:00 am
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has published standard ISO/TS 80004-13:2017, “Nanotechnologies — Vocabulary — Part 13: Graphene and related two-dimensional (2D) materials.” According to ISO, over the last decade ... […]
- 2D Flexible and Emerging Devices and Applications on September 14, 2017 at 2:10 am
In 2015, with Alessandro Molle, he created the first transistor out of silicene, the world's thinnest silicon material, and he is continuing to advance the capabilities of computer chips and other electronics. Akinwande described 2D layered nanomaterials ... […]
via Google News and Bing News