A new study from The Australian National University (ANU) has found a number of 2D materials can not only withstand being sent into space, but potentially thrive in the harsh conditions.
It could influence the type of materials used to build everything from satellite electronics to solar cells and batteries – making future space missions more accessible, and cheaper to launch.
PhD candidate and lead author Tobias Vogl was particularly interested in whether the 2D materials could withstand intense radiation.
“The space environment is obviously very different to what we have here on Earth. So we exposed a variety of 2D materials to radiation levels comparable to what we expect in space,” Mr Vogl said.
“We found most of these devices coped really well. We were looking at electrical and optical properties and basically didn’t see much difference at all.”
During a satellite’s orbit around the earth, it is subject to heating, cooling, and radiation. While there’s been plenty of work done demonstrating the robustness of 2D materials when it comes to temperature fluctuations, the impact of radiation has largely been unknown – until now.
The ANU team carried out a number of simulations to model space environments for potential orbits. This was used to expose 2D materials to the expected radiation levels. They found one material actually improved when subjected to intense gamma radiation.
“A material getting stronger after irradiation with gamma rays – it reminds me of the hulk,” Mr Vogl said.
“We’re talking about radiation levels above what we would see in space – but we actually saw the material become better, or brighter.”
Mr Vogl says this specific material could potentially be used to detect radiation levels in other harsh environments, like near nuclear reactor sites.
“The applications of these 2D materials will be quite versatile, from satellite structures reinforced with graphene – which is five-times stiffer than steel – to lighter and more efficient solar cells, which will help when it comes to actually getting the experiment into space.”
Among the tested devices were atomically thin transistors. Transistors are a crucial component for every electronic circuit. The study also tested quantum light sources, which could be used to form what Mr Vogl describes as the “backbone” of the future quantum internet.
“They could be used for satellite-based long-distance quantum cryptography networks. This quantum internet would be hacking proof, which is more important than ever in this age of rising cyberattacks and data breaches.”
“Australia is already a world leader in the field of quantum technology,” senior author Professor Ping Koy Lam said.
“In light of the recent establishment of the Australian Space Agency, and ANU’s own Institute for Space, this work shows that we can also compete internationally in using quantum technology to enhance space instrumentations.”
Learn more: ANU research set to shake-up space missions
The Latest on: 2D materials
via Google News
The Latest on: 2D materials
- Tailor-made Materials with Ultrafast Connections on April 17, 2019 at 5:53 am
These kinds of promising materials are known as two-dimensional (2D) materials, as they only consist of an atomically thin layer. Due to their remarkable properties, they are considered to have great ... […]
- 2D Materials: An analysis with a focus on 2D TMDs on April 15, 2019 at 5:10 pm
In this slide presentation (see link below) we assess non-graphene 2D materials, focusing mainly on MoS2 as the main example of the family of 2D TMDs (transition metal dichalcogenides). You will need ... […]
- IDTechEx Graphene & 2D Materials 2019 Award Winner on April 12, 2019 at 1:25 am
At the IDTechEx Graphene & 2D Materials conference and exhibition in Berlin on April 10-11, the first graphene award for the Most Significant Advancement In Graphene, CNT, Or 2D Material ... […]
- 2D borophene gets a closer look: Rice, Northwestern find new ways to image, characterize unique material on April 11, 2019 at 6:16 pm
Unlike its carbon cousin, two-dimensional borophene can't be reduced from a larger natural form. Bulk boron is usually only found in combination with other elements, and is certainly not layered, so ... […]
- Rice, Northwestern find new ways to image, characterize unique material on April 11, 2019 at 10:00 am
The team produced a phase diagram that lays out how borophene is likely to form under certain temperatures and on a variety of substrates, and noted their microscopy advances will be valuable for ... […]
- 'Deep learning' casts wide net for novel 2D materials: Rice U. engineers show faster techniques to model atom-flat materials for bottom-up design on April 10, 2019 at 6:08 pm
Researchers at Rice University's Brown School of Engineering say they can find out fast by feeding basic details of their structures to "deep learning" agents that have the power to map the materials' ... […]
- 'Deep learning' casts wide net for novel 2D materials on April 10, 2019 at 2:10 pm
Engineers use 'deep learning' techniques to speed up simulations of novel two-dimensional materials to understand their characteristics and how they're affected by high temperature and radiation. ... […]
- Wonder material: individual 2D phosphorene nanoribbons made for the first time on April 10, 2019 at 10:25 am
Tiny, individual, flexible ribbons of crystalline phosphorus have been made and measured an international collaboration, in a world first, and they could revolutionise electronics and fast-charging ... […]
- Measurement of semiconductor material quality is now 100,000 times more sensitive on April 9, 2019 at 1:24 pm
The enhanced power of the new measuring technique to characterize materials at scales much smaller than any current technologies will accelerate the discovery and investigation of 2D, micro- and ... […]
- Measurement of carrier lifetime in micron-scaled materials using resonant microwave circuits on April 9, 2019 at 2:16 am
The approach presented is applicable to a wide range of 2D, micro-, or nano-scaled materials, as well as weak emitters or non-radiative materials. Traditionally, direct electrical measurements of ... […]
via Bing News