Researchers from the University of Arkansas say graphene could be a clean and endless source of energy in the future.
The research was led by Paul Thibado, a physicist at the University of Arkansas. The team discovered that they can collect the energy generated from the movement of atoms in graphene.
They laid out sheets of graphene on a copper grid. Since graphene is flexible, it moved into the holes in the grid. The researchers observed the movement using a scanning tunneling microscope (STM).
Initially, the team did not see any use in the experiments as the did not see any remarkable data in the results.
However, Mr. Thibado pushed his team to narrow down the research. They then discovered that there were two different kinds of movements in the graphene. On a smaller scale the carbon atoms randomly moved up and down, but on a larger scale, the atoms the moved together in one wave.
“This is the key to using the motion of 2D materials as a source of harvestable energy,” Mr. Thibado told Research Frontiers.
The fact that the atoms in graphene move together is an important discovery. The energy can be collected using nanotechnology and has the potential to be used for a number of purposes.
Graphene, often referred to as a super material, has received significant interest from researchers and scientists.
In related news, a team of researchers from the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) and Yale University used graphene to convert light into electrical signals at room temperature.
They demonstrated that graphene can act as efficient mid-infrared detectors while operating at room temperature.
The results of the experiment proved that graphene is an excellent material to quickly convert light to electrical signals, and that too, at room temperature. This technology can be used to make tiny detectors that can be integrated into high-resolution, mid-infrared cameras and high-density integrated infrared photonic circuits used for security and air-quality monitoring.