US Researchers Create New Allotrope of Carbon ‘Graphullerene’
A new allotrope of carbon has been created that is being described as graphene’s ‘superatomic’ cousin by the team of US researchers behind it.
A new allotrope of carbon has been created that is being described as graphene’s ‘superatomic’ cousin by the team of US researchers behind it. Dubbed graphullerene, this atom-thin material is made of linked fullerene subunits.
This novel form of carbon combines elements of two-dimensional carbon sheets and zero-dimensional carbon super atoms, and it could facilitate the development of new nanomaterials with applications in the electronics, aerospace, automotive and defence industries.
An allotrope of carbon is a different form of carbon that exists in nature. The most well-known allotropes of carbon are diamond and graphite, but there are many others, including fullerenes, carbon nanotubes, and graphene. Each allotrope has a unique set of physical and chemical properties.
The latest allotrope, graphullerene, is a two-dimensional polymer. A team of more than two dozen researchers at several US universities – including Columbia University and the University of Florida – created it using a chemical vapour transport strategy to first grow crystals of magnesium-doped fullerene polymers.
Next, single sheets of graphullerene were exfoliated from the bulk material and a dilute acid was then used to remove the magnesium.
Graphullerene’s specific combination of properties offers ‘a pristine interface that might find usefulness in new quantum materials applications’, said Austin Evans, a co-author of the paper and assistant chemistry professor at the University of Florida.
As this material has proven to be very thermally conductive, it might be useful in thermal management for circuits or as protective coatings for spacecraft, he emphasised.
The University of Florida (UF) is a public research university located in Gainesville, Florida. Founded in 1853, it is the oldest and most comprehensive university in the state of Florida.
UF offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees across a wide range of academic fields, including arts and sciences, engineering, business, law, and medicine. The University of Florida is also a member of the Association of American Universities and the Southeastern Conference.