|Posted on January 1, 2016 at 6:25 PM|
Two-dimensional (atomically thick) materials, starting with graphene and now extending to families of other materials, have become the subject of great interest for their unusual properties. One such material, boron nitride, is known as "white graphene." It has intriguing properties: more transparent than graphene, non-reactive and atomically smooth with high mechanical strength and thermal conductivity. And it's an insulator; opening it up for a set of new applications.
As Dr. Yijing Stehle, a post-doc at Oak Ridge National Labs, reports: "Imagine batteries, capacitors, solar cells, video screens and fuel cells as thin as a piece of paper." She and her colleagues recently described a new method to make perfect white graphene in an article in Chemistry of Materials. Her method is based on a traditional method, chemical vapor deposition, but with a new twist.... Stehle describes this new method as "a more gentle, controllable way to release the reactant into the furnace and figure out how to take advantage of inner furnace conditions. These two factors are almost always neglected." She and her ORNL colleagues are also working on a two-dimensional capacitor and fuel cell prototype that is "super thin" and, importantly, transparent.
- Written by Paulette Clancy
(Photo credit: Used with permission. Credit to: Jason Richards/Oak Ridge National Laboratory).