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Researchers Create a Graphene-Like Material

May 22, 2014 09:38 AM EDT

Scientists have created a material called "triazine-based graphitic carbon nitride", which is related to the wonder-material graphene. However, TGCN has an electronic band gap, meaning that it can be used to build lightweight, bendable electronics.

The material was created by researchers at the University of Liverpool.

Graphene is a two-dimensional material that is incredibly strong and can conduct heat and electricity. Other scientists have tried to use graphene to make next-generation electronics. However, graphene lacks a property called bandgap and so can't be used to construct transistors.

Recently, Massachusetts Institute of technology scientists had announced they are creating a new material that has all the "super powers of graphene" along with the required energy bandgap.

Now, scientists have constructed the two-dimensional material, TGCN, which conducts heat and electricity like graphene, but it also comes with bandgap. In other words, TGCN could potentially be used in building transistors for futuristic devices.

"This is an exciting result because there are relatively few ordered two-dimensional organic solids. Finding a new member of the 'graphene family' is very significant," said Professor Andrew Cooper, from the University's Department of Chemistry.

Researchers constructed the new material using a molecule called dicyandiamide. The team then prepared crystals of graphitic carbon nitride. The material is 2 D like graphene, but contains nitrogen.

The material was created by combining the ingredients in a quartz tube and heating it to 600°C for 62 hours. The resultant liquid has flakes of the new material.

"The creation and analysis of this material is just the first step. We now have a lot more work to do to scale it up and prove function in electronic devices," Cooper said in a news release.

The study is published in the journal Angewandte Chemie and is funded by an Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Programme Grant at Liverpool. 

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