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News | PlasCarb

Graphene better way to conduct electricity

A research team of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University has come up with a method to apply graphene in molecular form as it is a preferable alternative to conduct electricity than metals.

Using graphene as one electrode with gold as the other electrode to form a circuit, the gold can attract carbon molecules from the graphene. Once the molecules become the “bridge” between the two materials, electricity can be conducted better than doing in the conventional way between metals.

Actually the mechanism of electric conductivity was proposed by researchers in 1997, But Dr Yang Li at XJTLU, realized it technically.

Working with her doctorate student Zhang Qian, they found that if the gold is cut into nanometers with a pointed end, the adhesive effect will occur given that electricity is being conducted between the two materials.

“Imagine fishing in a peaceful lake,” Yang explained. “The pointed end of gold is like a fishing pole fetching ‘fishes of carbon’ from the lake of graphene.”

The results of the research done by Yang and Zhang suggest that compared with wires made of metal such as aluminum and copper, graphene enhances the electricity conduction by 20 to 30 percent. Meanwhile, carbon heats more quickly and is therefore able to help improve the performance of electronic devices.

Yang and Zhang’s achievement was shown yesterday at XJTLU’s research festival, together with other 31 research projects done by the university.

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