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Graphene grown on silver could yield advanced electronics, optics

Nov. 15, 2013 at 4:18 PM   |   Comments

EVANSTON, Ill., Nov. 15 (UPI) -- A new method of growing graphene on a silver substrate could create opportunities for ultra-fast electronics and advanced optics, researchers in Illinois say.

Graphene, a one-atom-thick carbon layer with extraordinary conductivity and strength, holds promise for a range of applications, scientists said, but current methods for growing graphene on metals have been unsuccessful with silver.

Researchers from Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory have recently demonstrated the first growth of graphene on a single-crystal silver substrate, an accomplishment that could advance graphene-based optical devices and enable the interfacing of graphene with other two-dimensional materials, the university said in a release Friday.

"Silver is a widely used material to enhance optical properties," Northwestern's Mark Hersam, a co-author of the study, said. "More recently, graphene has emerged as a promising platform for optical technologies.

The researchers say they've developed a method for creating graphene on silver using an ultra-high vacuum technique.

"With our recent development of a method for growing graphene on silver, we can now exploit the best attributes of both graphene and silver at the same time," Hersam said.

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