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Primeur weekly 2018-03-05

Quantum computing

Want more efficient simulators? Store time in a quantum superposition ...

Experimentally demonstrated a toffoli gate in a semiconductor three-qubit system ...

Individual quantum dots imaged in 3D for first time ...

Artificial intelligence techniques reconstruct mysteries of quantum systems ...

Majorana runners go long range: New topological phases of matter unveiled ...

Focus on Europe

University of Groningen to organize Second Information Universe Conference ...

IEEE eScience 2018 calls for contributions ...

Harvey Meyer is awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant for fundamental calculations on strong interaction effects ...

BSC presents SuperGeek, a mascot to bring supercomputers closer to the youngest ...

Call for Participation to European Forum about "Shaping Europe's Digital Future - HPC for Extreme Scale Scientific and Industrial Applications" ...

Data management and computing infrastructure procurement broadly serves Finnish research ...

Hardware

High demand from commercial customers to boost growth in global supercomputer market ...

OCF deploys UK academia's first IBM POWER9 systems ...

Niagara is Canada's most powerful research supercomputer fuelling Canadian innovation and discovery ...

CENIC recognizes UCSC's Hyades supercomputer cluster connection ...

CoolIT Systems reports 60% revenue growth in 2017 ...

SPEC offers HPG benchmarks free of charge to qualified non-profit organisations worldwide ...

Applications

Supercomputer model reveals how sticky tape makes graphene ...

Concertio launches Optimizer Studio to help performance engineers and IT professionals achieve peak system performance ...

Sandia researcher Jacqueline Chen elected to National Academy of Engineering ...

Oak Ridge National Laboratory uses supercomputers to simulate radiation transport and to understand the dynamic interactions among ions, solids and liquids ...

Mining hardware helps scientists gain insight into silicon nanoparticles ...

Can strongly lensed type 1a supernovae resolve cosmology's biggest controversy? ...

Give your research a boost at the SURF Research Bootcamp ...

TOP500

Supercomputing under a new lens: A Sandia-developed benchmark re-ranks top computers ...

The Cloud

Alibaba Cloud launches Cloud and AI solutions in Europe including bare metal HPC services ...

KIT helps build the European Open Science Cloud ...

Supercomputer model reveals how sticky tape makes graphene


26 Feb 2018 London - Scientists at University College London (UCL) have explained for the first time the mystery of why adhesive tape is so useful for graphene production. The study, published inAdvanced Materials, used supercomputers to model the process through which graphene sheets are exfoliated from graphite, the material in pencils.

Graphene is known for being the strongest material in the world, lightweight and with extraordinary electrical, thermal and optical properties. Unsurprisingly, it offers many benefits for commercial application.

There are various methods for exfoliating graphene, including the famous adhesive tape method developed by Nobel Prize winner Andre Geim. However little has been known until now about how the process of exfoliating graphene using sticky tape works.

Academics at UCL are now able to demonstrate how individual flakes of graphite can be exfoliated to make one atom thick layers. They also reveal that the process of peeling a layer of graphene demands 40% less energy than that of another common method called shearing. This is expected to have far reaching impacts for the commercial production of graphene.

"The sticky tape method works rather like peeling egg boxes apart with a vertical motion, it is easier than pulling one horizontally across another when they are neatly stacked", explained Professor Peter Coveney, Director of the Centre for Computational Science (UCL Chemistry).

"If shearing, then you get held up by this egg carton configuration. But if you peel, you can get them apart much more easily. The polymethyl methacrylate adhesive on traditional sticky tape is ideal for picking up the edge of the graphene sheet so it can be lifted and peeled", added Professor Coveney.

Graphite occurs naturally, its basic crystalline structure is stacks of flat sheets of strongly bonded carbon atoms in a honeycomb pattern. Graphite's many layers are bound together by weak interactions and can easily slide large distances over one another with little friction due to their superlubricity.

The scientists at UCL simulated an experiment conducted in 2015 at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory in Berkeley, California, which used a special microscope with atomic resolution to see how graphene flakes move around on a graphite surface.

The supercomputer's results matched Berkeley's observations showing that there is less movement when the graphene atoms neatly line up with the atoms below.

"Despite the vast amount of research carried out on graphene since its discovery, it is clear that until now our understanding of its behaviour on an atomic length scale was very poor", explained PhD student Robert Sinclair, UCL Chemistry.

"The one reason above all others why the material is difficult to use is because it is hard to make. Even now, a dozen years after its discovery, companies have to apply sticky tape methods to pull it apart, as the Laureates did to uncover it; hardly a hi-tech and industrially simple process to implement. We're now in a position to assist experimentalists to figure out how to prise it apart, or make it to order. That could have big cost implications for the emerging graphene industry", stated Professor Coveney.

The research paper is titled " Graphene–Graphene Interactions: Friction, Superlubricity, and Exfoliation .
Source: University College London

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2018-03-05

Quantum computing

Want more efficient simulators? Store time in a quantum superposition ...

Experimentally demonstrated a toffoli gate in a semiconductor three-qubit system ...

Individual quantum dots imaged in 3D for first time ...

Artificial intelligence techniques reconstruct mysteries of quantum systems ...

Majorana runners go long range: New topological phases of matter unveiled ...

Focus on Europe

University of Groningen to organize Second Information Universe Conference ...

IEEE eScience 2018 calls for contributions ...

Harvey Meyer is awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant for fundamental calculations on strong interaction effects ...

BSC presents SuperGeek, a mascot to bring supercomputers closer to the youngest ...

Call for Participation to European Forum about "Shaping Europe's Digital Future - HPC for Extreme Scale Scientific and Industrial Applications" ...

Data management and computing infrastructure procurement broadly serves Finnish research ...

Hardware

High demand from commercial customers to boost growth in global supercomputer market ...

OCF deploys UK academia's first IBM POWER9 systems ...

Niagara is Canada's most powerful research supercomputer fuelling Canadian innovation and discovery ...

CENIC recognizes UCSC's Hyades supercomputer cluster connection ...

CoolIT Systems reports 60% revenue growth in 2017 ...

SPEC offers HPG benchmarks free of charge to qualified non-profit organisations worldwide ...

Applications

Supercomputer model reveals how sticky tape makes graphene ...

Concertio launches Optimizer Studio to help performance engineers and IT professionals achieve peak system performance ...

Sandia researcher Jacqueline Chen elected to National Academy of Engineering ...

Oak Ridge National Laboratory uses supercomputers to simulate radiation transport and to understand the dynamic interactions among ions, solids and liquids ...

Mining hardware helps scientists gain insight into silicon nanoparticles ...

Can strongly lensed type 1a supernovae resolve cosmology's biggest controversy? ...

Give your research a boost at the SURF Research Bootcamp ...

TOP500

Supercomputing under a new lens: A Sandia-developed benchmark re-ranks top computers ...

The Cloud

Alibaba Cloud launches Cloud and AI solutions in Europe including bare metal HPC services ...

KIT helps build the European Open Science Cloud ...