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2D materials

2D materials

Why carbon is an amazing material – part two

22 Jul 2019 James Dacey

Nanocarbon structures, such as graphene and carbon nanotubes, have superlative mechanical and electronic properties. In Why carbon is an amazing material – part one, Anna Demming described the pioneering studies that led to the discovery of these materials and some of the applications that exploit their mechanical strength. In part two, Demming explains how the remarkable electronic qualities of nanocarbons relate to its atomic and molecular properties.

Indeed, plenty of applications are already under development and in certain cases carbon is threatening to outperform the current king of electronics, silicon. However, several key challenges remain. Not least, we need to develop ways of mass-producing electronic-grade graphene, without introducing unwanted defects that can hinder performance.

What’s more, this revived interest in carbon has opened up an exciting new research field involving two-dimensional materials and combinations known as 2D heterostructures.

These carbon explainers are part of a new series of animated videos called Physics World Explains. The first looked at dark matter and why it is so elusive.



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