Researchers have discovered topologically protected one-dimensional electron conducting channels at the domain walls of bilayer graphene. These conducting channels are 'valley polarized', which means they can serve as filters for electron valley polarization in future devices such as quantum computers.
Researchers have developed an inexpensive technique called 'microcombing' to align carbon nanotubes (CNTs), which can be used to create large, pure CNT films that are stronger than any previous such films. The technique also improves the electrical conductivity that makes these films attractive for use in electronic and aerospace applications.
Electronics is based on the manipulation of electrons and other charge carriers, but in addition to charge, electrons possess a property known as spin. When spin is manipulated with magnetic and electric fields, the result is a spin-polarised current that carries more information than is possible with charge alone. Spin-transport electronics, or spintronics, is a subject of active investigation within Europe's Graphene Flagship.
The probe of an atomic force microscope (AFM) scans a surface to reveal details at a resolution 1,000 times greater than that of an optical microscope. That makes AFM the premier tool for analyzing physical features, but it cannot tell scientists anything about chemistry. For that they turn to the mass spectrometer. Now, scientists have combined these cornerstone capabilities into one instrument that can probe a sample in three dimensions and overlay information about the topography of its surface, the atomic-scale mechanical behavior near the surface, and the chemistry at and under the surface.
To stay competitive, businesses and governments are constantly looking for materials that will open the door to new technologies or sources of energy. Materials that will make their products faster, lighter, stronger or more efficient. Whoever develops those materials first will have a significant edge over the competition.