Before you jump down to the comments to chastise us for misspelling graphene, note that graphyne is similar to graphene but not the same. Like graphene, it is a two-dimensional structure of carbon. Unlike graphene, it contains double and triple bonds and does not always form hexagons. Scientists have postulated its existence for decades, but researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder have finally managed to pull it off. You can also download the paper if you want to wade through the details.
Carbon forms like fullerene and graphene are well-known and have many novel uses. Other allotropes of carbon include graphite and diamonds — certainly two things with wildly varying properties. Graphyne has conductivity similar to graphene but may also have other benefits.
Continue reading “Graphyne Finally Created” →
As circuits find their way into more and more real-world environments, the old standard circuitry isn’t always up to the task. It wasn’t that long ago that a computer needed special power, cooling, and a large room. Now those computers wouldn’t cut it for the top-of-the-line smartphone. However, most modern circuits don’t bend well and don’t like getting wet.
An international team of researchers is developing chemical-based circuitry that uses gold nanoparticles and electrically charged organic molecules to build circuit elements that behave like semiconductor diode junctions. It’s simple to make flexible circuits that don’t mind being wet using this chemical soup.
In an interview with IEEE Spectrum, the developers mentioned that other circuit elements similar to transistors and light sensors should be possible. The circuits aren’t perfect, however. The switching speed needs improvement. Also, while conventional circuits don’t like to get wet, these chemical circuits have difficulties if things get dry. Still, like all technology, things will probably improve over time.
This technology needs a good bit of engineering refinement before it is practical. If you need flexible photosensitive circuits in the near term, you might try here. Meanwhile, waterproof circuitry just needs the right kind of enclosure.
Photo Credit: UNIST/Nature Nanotechnology