Researchers at Manchester University have developed new material, graphane, which they say could have widespread applications in electronics and photonics.
Graphane is derived from graphene, a material discovered at the university in 2004. Graphene is a one-atom-thick crystal with unusual highly conductive properties. Now the scientists, from the School of Physics and Astronomy, have found that graphene will react with other substances to form new compounds with different properties, opening up further opportunities for applications in the field of electronics.
The addition of a hydrogen atom on each of the carbon atoms in the graphene to produce graphane was achieved without altering or damaging the distinctive one-atom-thick chicken wire structure of graphene. But instead of being highly conductive like graphene, graphane has insulating properties.
The researchers say the findings demonstrate that the material can be modified using chemistry - clearing the way for the discovery of further graphene-based chemical derivatives.