Journal: Science Advances
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A superelastic material that retains its elasticity down to just 4 degrees above absolute zero has been developed by a US−China team that included researchers at Nankai University.
Typical elastic materials made from flexible polymers lose their elasticity at about −55 degrees Celsius. But many applications require materials that remain elastic at much lower temperatures.
Carbon nanomaterials, such as single-atom-thick sheets of carbon called graphene, show exceptional flexibility at the nanoscale. However, these properties are usually lost when multiple graphene sheets are combined into a macroscale material.
The team has developed a new bulk form of graphene in which graphene sheets are bonded together with a network of covalent bonds, primarily at the edges of each sheet. This unique pattern of bonding enables this foam-like material to retain graphene’s superelasticity down to 4 kelvin, making it the first material to retain high elasticity at deep-cryogenic temperatures.
- Science Advances 5, eaav2589 (2019). doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aav2589