Friday, May 27, 2022
new form of carbon
Photo: Uniwersytet w Marburgu/Uniwersytet Aalto

Scientists from Germany and Finland have discovered a new allotropic form of carbon, with a structure different from graphene, but with equally thin structures. Carbon comes in various allotropic forms. In addition to diamond and graphite, there are also recently discovered forms with amazing properties. For example, graphene, which is so thin that it consists of only one layer of atoms, but has such remarkable properties that it becomes a promising candidate for applications in electronics and high-tech engineering.

 In graphene, each carbon atom is connected to three neighbors to form hexagons arranged in a honeycomb structure. Theoretical studies have shown that carbon atoms can align in other planar lattice patterns while still binding to three neighbors, but no such structure has yet been created.

Only scientists from the University of Marburg in Germany and the Aalto University in Finland managed to do so. They built a carbon network that is as thin as graphene but made up of squares, hexagons and octagons. Researchers confirmed the existence of this unique structure using high-resolution scanning microscopy. They also found that its properties differ significantly from those of graphene. They called the new network biphenylene.

Unlike graphene and other forms of carbon, the new lattice has metallic properties. Narrow strips of lattice, only 21 atoms wide, already behave like metal, while graphene at this size is a semiconductor.

'These strips could be used as conductors in future carbon-based electronic devices,' said Professor Michael Gottfried of the University of Marburg, who leads the team. Scientists believe that "this novel carbon lattice could also serve as the perfect anode material in lithium-ion batteries."

Recommended for Engineer Workplace

Best Gifts for Engineer

new form of carbon
Photo: Uniwersytet w Marburgu/Uniwersytet Aalto

Scientists from Germany and Finland have discovered a new allotropic form of carbon, with a structure different from graphene, but with equally thin structures. Carbon comes in various allotropic forms. In addition to diamond and graphite, there are also recently discovered forms with amazing properties. For example, graphene, which is so thin that it consists of only one layer of atoms, but has such remarkable properties that it becomes a promising candidate for applications in electronics and high-tech engineering.

 In graphene, each carbon atom is connected to three neighbors to form hexagons arranged in a honeycomb structure. Theoretical studies have shown that carbon atoms can align in other planar lattice patterns while still binding to three neighbors, but no such structure has yet been created.

Only scientists from the University of Marburg in Germany and the Aalto University in Finland managed to do so. They built a carbon network that is as thin as graphene but made up of squares, hexagons and octagons. Researchers confirmed the existence of this unique structure using high-resolution scanning microscopy. They also found that its properties differ significantly from those of graphene. They called the new network biphenylene.

Unlike graphene and other forms of carbon, the new lattice has metallic properties. Narrow strips of lattice, only 21 atoms wide, already behave like metal, while graphene at this size is a semiconductor.

'These strips could be used as conductors in future carbon-based electronic devices,' said Professor Michael Gottfried of the University of Marburg, who leads the team. Scientists believe that "this novel carbon lattice could also serve as the perfect anode material in lithium-ion batteries."