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Graphene made further: the new material of wonders is called graphine

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Graphene made further: the new material of wonders is called graphine
Written by aquitodovale

A team of researchers from University of Colorado Boulder managed to synthesize the grafinoa new form of carbon which promises to be even better than graphene, considered by many to be the “material of wonders” for the many properties shown – electrical, mechanical, etc. – and its flexibility.

Until now, scientists around the world had been recording limited success in synthesizing graphino, so much so that only a few fragments had been created. The new study, published in Nature Synthesis, illustrates an easier way to obtain the graph, potentially opening up new development scenarios for sectors such as optics, semiconductors and electronics in general.

The work on graphine fits into a trend that sees the industry interested in the design of new carbon allotropes to meet the needs of various sectors.

There are several ways in which carbon allotropes can be obtained, based on how the carbon atoms bond to other elements and their corresponding bonds. The best known carbon allotropes are the graphite (used in pencils and batteries) ei diamonds, which are created from sp2 carbon and sp3 carbon, respectively. Furthermore, by exploiting traditional chemical methods, scientists were able to create various allotropes including the fullerene and the graphene.

The problem is that these methods do not allow to synthesize together different types of carbon in large quantities, as is required for graphine. Consequently, the material has remained almost “theorized” to this day, as well as its conduction, mechanical and optical properties.

Wei Zhang, professor of chemistry at CU Boulder and author of the study, studies reversible chemistry, which is the chemistry that allows bonds to self-correct, allowing the creation of new ordered structures, or lattices, such as synthetic DNA-like polymers. And to him (and his team) that the industrial sector turned for find an “unconventional” method to create the graph.

Using a process called metathesis of alkynean organic reaction involving the redistribution, or shearing and reforming, of alkynic chemical bonds (a type of hydrocarbon with at least one carbon-carbon covalent triple bond), as well as thermodynamics and kinetic control, the group was able to create successfully what had never been achieved before: a material that could rival the conductivity of graphene but, and that’s the good news, with control.

“There is a pretty big difference (between graphene and graphino), but in a good way,” explained Zhang. “This could be the next generation wonder material. That’s why the people (in the industry) are really excited. “

Although the material has been successfully created, the team will now proceed to examine its particularities, look for a way to manipulate it and produce it on a large scale. The goal is to lower costs and simplify the reaction procedure so that the graph becomes widely usable. “We are really trying to explore this new material from multiple dimensions, both experimentally and theoretically, from the atomic level to real devices,” Zhang said of the next steps.

This work should help understand how the material’s optical and electron conduction properties can find industrial application, for example in lithium-ion batteries.

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