Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Nanomaterial outsmarts ions: Novel types of electronic components made of graphene

Date:
April 22, 2014
Source:
Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf
Summary:
Ions are an essential tool in chip manufacturing, but they can also be used to produce nano-sieves. A large number of electrons must be removed from the atoms for this purpose. Such ions either lose a large amount of energy or almost no energy at all as they pass through a membrane that measures one nanometer in thickness. Researchers report that this discovery is an important step towards developing novel types of electronic components made of graphene.

The left ion in the diagram is deflected by a collision with an atom in the membrane, which is only one nanometer thick and loses considerably more energy than previously believed (red arrow); the right ion passes virtually unhindered through the membrane (green arrow).
Credit: Copyright Richard Arthur Wilhelm

Ions are an essential tool in chip manufacturing, but these electrically charged atoms can also be used to produce nano-sieves with homogeneously distributed pores. A particularly large number of electrons, however, must be removed from the atoms for this purpose. Such highly charged ions either lose a surprisingly large amount of energy or almost no energy at all as they pass through a membrane that measures merely one nanometer in thickness. Researchers from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) and Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) report in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters that this discovery is an important step towards developing novel types of electronic components made of graphene.

Related Articles


Although highly charged ions cause damage only on a very limited area of a material surface, they do so extremely efficiently. This makes them an ideal tool for special tasks, such as perforating ultra-thin films of carbon that measure only one nanometer in thickness (one nanometer = one millionth of a millimeter). The result is a technologically usable nano-sieve that could, for example, separate different gases.

"Bombarding material with ions can be compared with striking billiard balls," according to Richard Wilhelm, doctoral candidate at the HZDR. "A professional player knows exactly at which angle he must strike the ball in order to succeed during his turn. In doing so, the player also calculates the energy that must be transmitted by a ball to one or more of the other balls." Ions behave similarly when they collide with atoms in the material. The ions gradually slow down on their path through a large number of collisions and continuously lose energy -- like a bullet that penetrates a tree trunk and then comes to rest there.

For an ultra-thin material that consists of only a few atomic layers, this analogy, however, is not applicable -- as the exciting results demonstrate from the latest experiments at the Ion Beam Center of HZDR. Wilhelm and his colleagues from Dresden and Vienna observed for the first time in experiments that the highly charged ions either flew through a nanomebrane virtually unaffected, or lost an astounding amount of energy in doing so. It was previously assumed, however, that ions always lose the same amount of energy on average.

In order to see this newly discovered effect at all, the membrane cannot be thicker than one nanometer -- the carbon membrane, hanging freely from a carrier, was produced at the University of Bielefeld. In addition, the ions must have a high positive charge, meaning that many electrons were removed in advance. Thirty-fold charged xenon ions were used. Two different events can occur when the xenon ions hit the ultra-thin membrane. While one ion can virtually pass unimpeded between carbon atoms of the nanomembrane, a different ion might collide with one of the atoms in the material. During such a collision, it passes through the electron cloud of the atom and sucks up the negatively charged electrons. This electron capture almost leads to neutralization of the ion, resulting in a considerable deceleration. Depending on the angle at which the ion continues to travel after the collision, the energy loss amounts up to ten percent.

"Our experiments demonstrated for the first time that the energy loss in the material depends considerably on the charge state of the ions. We suspect a general relationship, which could not be previously observed with the customary thicker materials and in lower ion charge states," explains HZDR doctoral candidate Wilhelm.

Graphene the "Miracle Material"

The researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf and Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) would like to work with the promising material of graphene as a next step. Graphene is carbon that is only one atomic layer thick. It possesses almost exotic properties, such as extreme durability while it is also transparent and a metal. "Many groups around the world are working with graphene at the moment, but only very few are incorporating foreign atoms into the two-dimensional material. If this could be done routinely using ion implantation, it could lead to novel electronic components with unexpected capabilities," explains Richard Wilhelm. Within the Ion Beam Center of the HZDR, several more facilities are available for generating highly charged ions for experiments with graphene. The TU Wien, a long-term research partner, is again actively on board.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. J. T. Miller, A. Lazarus, B. Audoly, P. M. Reis. Shapes of a Suspended Curly Hair. Physical Review Letters, 2014; 112 (6) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.068103
  2. Richard A. Wilhelm, Elisabeth Gruber, Robert Ritter, Renι Heller, Stefan Facsko, Friedrich Aumayr. Charge Exchange and Energy Loss of Slow Highly Charged Ions in 1 nm Thick Carbon Nanomembranes. Physical Review Letters, 2014; 112 (15) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.153201
  3. Robert Ritter, Richard A. Wilhelm, Michael Stöger-Pollach, René Heller, Arndt Mücklich, Udo Werner, Henning Vieker, André Beyer, Stefan Facsko, Armin Gölzhäuser, Friedrich Aumayr. Fabrication of nanopores in 1 nm thick carbon nanomembranes with slow highly charged ions. Applied Physics Letters, 2013; 102 (6): 063112 DOI: 10.1063/1.4792511

Cite This Page:

Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf. "Nanomaterial outsmarts ions: Novel types of electronic components made of graphene." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 April 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140422100017.htm>.
Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf. (2014, April 22). Nanomaterial outsmarts ions: Novel types of electronic components made of graphene. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140422100017.htm
Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf. "Nanomaterial outsmarts ions: Novel types of electronic components made of graphene." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140422100017.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) — Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) — What to buy an experienced photographer or video shooter? There is some strong gear on the market from Nikon and GoPro. The AP's Ron Harris takes a closer look. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) — A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) — The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins