Journal: Advanced Materials
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Graphene sandwich fillers have potential
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Squeezing metal molecules between sheets of graphene can improve its electrical properties, and could lead to longer lasting solar cells.
When two pieces of graphene — single, honeycomb-like layers of carbon atoms — are sandwiched together, gaps are created that can be filled with molecules, which alter the material’s electrical properties. But previous methods for inserting molecules have been limited to nanometre-sized graphene flakes.
A team including researchers from Kyushu University have grown and stacked two sheets of graphene several millimetres wide. They applied heat and pressure to infuse the sheets with molybdenum chloride (MoCl5) molecules, selected for their high chemical stability. More MoCl5 was incorporated when the graphene sheets were rotated relative to each other, and the resultant material exhibited very low electrical resistance for more than three months.
As graphene layers protect the infused molecules from reacting with air, these materials could be harnessed in outdoor electronics such as solar cells.
- Advanced Materials 29, 1702141 (2017). doi: 10.1002/adma.201702141