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Amazing technological feat of the nanosecond...


chris-dax

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http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article1454663.ece

 

A layer of carbon has been manufactured in a film only one atom thick that defies the laws of physics. Placed in layers on top of each other it would take 200,000 membranes to reach high enough to match the thickness of a human hair.

 

The substance, graphene, was created two years ago but could be made only when stuck to another material. Researchers have now managed to manufacture it as a film suspended between the nanoscale bars of scaffolding made from gold.

 

The crystalline membrane, comprising carbon atoms formed into hexagonal groups of six to create a honeycomb pattern, is thought to be able to exist because rather than lying flat it undulates slightly. Un- dulation provides the structure with a third dimension that gives it the strength to hold together, the researchers have reported in the journal Nature.

 

 

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Nanotechnology is really going to revolutionize electronics and materials science soon, probably within the next 10-15 years. I wonder what the stiffness and strength to weight ratios are for those graphene sheets, and how large they can make them. Have you seen the reports where they've coaxed nanotubes to form into toroidal rings? That really starts getting mind-boggling - if they can figure out how to make those rings interlock like a chain or like chain mail, it's going to get interesting in a hurry.

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