Tiny and very promising for possible applications in the field of nanoelectronics: they are the graphene nanoflakes. These hexagonal shaped nanostructures would allow to exploit quantum effects to modulate the current flow. Thanks to their intrinsic magnetic properties, they could also represent a significant step forward in the field of spintronics, which is based on the electron spin.
Despite the rise of graphene and other two-dimensional (2-D) materials, semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes are still regarded as strong candidates for the next generation of high-performance, ultra-scaled and thin-film transistors as well as for opto-electronic devices. In new work, a European team of researchers demonstrates simultaneous confinement of electrons and holes between artificial defects separated by less than 10 nm in semiconducting carbon nanotubes.
Researchers have developed a form of a graphene-oxide coated ‘nanosheet’ that, when placed in between the two electrodes of a lithium-metal battery, prevents uneven plating of lithium and allows the battery to safely function for hundreds of charge/discharge cycles.
Single adatoms are expected to participate in many processes occurring at solid surfaces, such as the growth of graphene on metals. We demonstrate, both experimentally and theoretically, the catalytic role played by single metal adatoms during the technologically relevant process of graphene growth on nickel (Ni). The catalytic action of individual Ni atoms at the edges of a growing graphene flake was directly captured by scanning tunneling microscopy imaging at the millisecond time scale, while force field molecular dynamics and density functional theory calculations rationalize the experimental observations. Our results unveil the mechanism governing the activity of a single-atom catalyst at work.