Layered Graphene Transforms into Diamond-like Impenetrable Material

Published Date : Dec 26, 2017

Nanotechnology has made rapid strides in recent years and several advances in material sciences have markedly fueled the resultant growth. The potential of the technology is being harnessed for developing next-generation materials for a number of end-use industries, especially coatings, fabric designing, and electronics. Efforts to commercialize graphene production have intensified in the last few years, given the vast potential the ultra-light material has owing to its amazing strength and impact resistant properties. A team of researchers at the Advanced Science Research Center at the Graduate Center, CUNY has developed a flexible material using only two layers of graphene and transformed it into diamond-like stiff material that is impenetrable upon impact at room temperature. This ultra-thin material is called Diamene and under specific conditions it can become harder than bulk diamond, claims researchers; additionally, it demonstrated notable electronic and spintronic properties.

The study has been detailed in a paper published online on December 18, 2017 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. The material, notes scientists, can potential applications in making a variety of flexible and impenetrable materials that can protect fragile objects and even enable bodies to resist bullets. Diamene can have applications in developing wear-resistant protective coatings and ultra-light bullet-proof films.

Graphite-Diamond Transition by Combining Two Layers of Graphene with Spintronic Properties

The scientists took the help of atomistic computer simulations to predict outcomes when the two hexagonal lattice structured layers of graphene were coalesced together, one on the top of the other. Substrates made of silicon carbide were used to facilitate graphite-diamond transition, which led Diamene showcase several beneficial properties of diamond. The results were verified using atomic force microscopy.

The team was also intrigued by interesting electronic and spintronic characteristics displayed by layers of graphene, making it promising in the electronics devices manufacturing. Interestingly, the properties of Diamene was limited to only two layers of graphene. Future research will expectedly focus on ways to stabilize the transition, thereby expanding the potential of the next-generation graphene material.